How to Reduce Gum-Disease Concerns When You Have Diabetes

26 September 2016
 Categories: Dentist, Articles

If you have diabetes, then you likely know that you are at a higher risk of developing certain medical issues and complications. Gum disease is one of the medical problems that can occur if you are diabetic. Gum disease is prevalent among individuals with diabetes because the bacteria in the mouth feed off the sugary substances that you eat. If you do not manage your disease as closely as you should, then your blood sugar may be high. The bacteria in the mouth will then gather around the gum tissues and infect them when you brush and floss and will cause the gums to bleed, and that will result in the need for periodontal treatment. If you want to keep gum disease from plaguing you, then there are several things you can do to prevent it.

Clean Your Mouth the Right Way

The bacteria in your mouth can only feed off the sugars in your blood and infect the gums if your gums are allowed to bleed. You may see bleeding gums when you floss. However, this is not normal and is an indication that the tissues are swollen. This happens when plaque is left near the gumline. Bacteria feed off the plaque and cause the gums to swell. When you floss the swollen gums, they then start to bleed. 

The best way to keep your gums from bleeding is to make sure that all plaque is removed from around the gums. Flossing can release a great deal of the plaque, but many people do not know how to floss properly. To floss correctly, start by buying a waxed floss that will move easily between the teeth. When you are ready to start flossing, pull out about two feet from the floss container and wrap about three inches of the loose floss around each of your index fingers. Start at the back of the mouth and use your fingers to force the floss up between your back molars. Pull the floss towards the back of the mouth with your fingers, making sure the floss forms a C shape with the tooth. Move the floss up and down against the side of the tooth. Make sure the floss works its way underneath the gums so you get a deep clean. Pull the floss toward the front of the mouth afterward and complete the same flossing motions. This will allow you to scrape the plaque from the sides of the teeth instead of simply removing the debris from the gaps in between the teeth. Clean all of the teeth in your mouth in this way.

If you do not have a lot of hand strength, or if you feel that regular floss is not cleaning your teeth well, then purchase an electric water flosser instead. Make sure to use the spray head around the front and back of the teeth to release as much plaque as possible. 

Eat Vitamin-Rich Foods

You will see your gums bleeding less often once you get your flossing technique down. However, if your gums still seem to bleed, then you may have a vitamin deficiency that is causing the issue. This issue should be addressed to make sure your gums do not bleed and that oral bacteria do not thrive off the sugar in your blood. A vitamin C deficiency can cause bleeding gum tissues. Vitamin C is a vital nutrient that is needed to build collagen in the body. Collagen is the building block of all tissues, and it is required to repair damaged areas of the body, like the gum tissues. If there is not enough vitamin C in the body, then the gums will not be repaired in a timely manner. You are likely to see prolonged gum bleeding when this happens.

Make sure that you eat foods that are high in vitamin C to keep gum disease at bay. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruits, and lemons have an abundant amount of the nutrient. Bell peppers, strawberries, and tomatoes also contain vitamin C. Fortified foods like breads and cereals will have the nutrient as well.