Monday, 1 October 2012

Diabetes and dental care: Guide to a healthy mouth

What do brushing and flossing have to do with diabetes? Plenty. If you have diabetes, here's why dental care matters — and how to take care of your teeth and gums.

 When you have diabetes, high blood sugar can take a toll on your entire body — including your teeth and gums. The good news? Prevention is in your hands. Learn what you're up against, and then take charge of your dental health.

Cavities and gum disease

Whether you have type 1 diabetes or type 2 diabetes, managing your blood sugar level is key. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher your risk of:

  • Tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria. When starches and sugars in food and beverages interact with these bacteria, a sticky film known as plaque forms on your teeth. The acids in plaque attack the hard, outer surface of your teeth (enamel). This can lead to cavities. The higher your blood sugar level, the greater the supply of sugars and starches — and the more acid wearing away at your teeth.

  • Early gum disease (gingivitis). Diabetes reduces your ability to fight bacteria, which can cause more plaque to build up on your teeth. If you don't remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it'll harden under your gumline into a substance called tartar (calculus). The longer plaque and tartar remain on your teeth, the more they irritate the gingiva — the part of your gum around the base of your teeth. In time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. This is gingivitis.

  • Advanced gum disease (periodontitis). Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. Eventually, periodontitis causes your gums to pull away from your teeth and your teeth to loosen and even fall out. Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control. Preventing and treating periodontitis can help improve blood sugar control.

Proper dental care

To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, take diabetes and dental care seriously:
  • Make a commitment to managing your diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar level, and follow your doctor's instructions for keeping your blood sugar level within your target range. The better you control your blood sugar level, the less likely you are to develop gingivitis and other dental problems.

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Brush in the morning, at night and, ideally, after meals and snacks. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush and toothpaste that contains fluoride. Avoid vigorous or harsh scrubbing, which can irritate your gums. Consider using an electric toothbrush, especially if you have arthritis or other problems that make it difficult to brush well.

  • Floss your teeth at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gumline. If you have trouble getting floss through your teeth, use the waxed variety. If it's hard to manipulate the floss, use a floss holder.

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings. Remind your dentist that you have diabetes. To prevent low blood sugar during dental work, you might want to eat before your dental visits.

  • Take special precautions with dental surgery. If you're having dental surgery, make sure that your dentist consults with your doctor ahead of time. You may need to adjust your diabetes medications or take an antibiotic to prevent infection. 

  • Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling and bleeding gums — to your dentist. Also mention any other signs and symptoms such as dry mouth, loose teeth or mouth pain.

  • Don't smoke. Smoking increases the risk of serious diabetes complications, including gum disease. If you smoke, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.

Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums.


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Diabetes and Nutrition Label

Nutrition Label


All packaged foods are required to have nutrition labels with nutrition facts listed. These nutrition labels offers useful and accurate nutrition information that enable consumers to make healthful food choices.

The nutrition fact list is particular important for diabetes patient in their healthful diet plan. It enable diabetes patient to translate an item into exchanges and follow a diabetic exchange diet, count carbohydrates, and maintain a healthy diet. So take the time to read them.


Understanding of Nutrition Label

Serving Size: Standardized size based on amounts people actually eat. Similar food products have similar serving sizes making nutritional comparisons easier.

% Daily Value: nutrient reference values, expressed as % Daily Values, that help consumers see how a food fits into an overall daily diet. This helps you to understand if the food has "a lot" or "a little" of the most important nutrients

Middle Section: The nutrients listed in the middle section are the ones most important to good health. This helps you to calculate your daily limits for fat, fiber, sodium and other nutrients.

Vitamins & Minerals: Only these vitamins and minerals are required on labels although the manufacturer has the option to include others too.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Can people with Type1 diabetes seriously think about taking part in a major event such as the Olympics?

Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the body is unable to produce insulin. Without insulin, the body's ability to use glucose as a fuel source is impaired. That does not mean that people with Type 1 diabetes have to give up their dreams of a successful sports career. Pakistani batsman and fast bowler Imran Khan and swimmer Gary Hall Jr. are just a few athletes with Type 1 diabetes who have competed at the highest level of demanding sports. With good management, it is possible to participate in sporting activities with this condition.

Why is insulin important?

Insulin is a hormone produced in the pancreas. It has a number of important functions in the body, including a regulatory effect on carbohydrate metabolism.
Insulin stimulates body cells to take up glucose and use it for fuel.
It inhibits the release of glucose from glycogen in the liver and stimulates the synthesis of muscle glycogen after exercise.

In the absence of diabetes, insulin is released according to the body's needs and the concentration of glucose in the blood is kept within a tight range.
People with Type 1 diabetes do not produce insulin and so the body is unable to use glucose properly as a fuel source and starts to rely on fat and protein as fuel. This causes blood glucose levels to rise excessively and toxic by-products from fat breakdown (ketones) to build up in the blood. . Therefore, regular insulin injections are needed to simulate what the pancreas would be doing if it could make insulin.

The amount and timing of insulin administration needs to be matched to factors such as food intake, individual metabolism and activity level.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

The Importance of Dental Care With Diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth. Dental care is particularly important for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars. The less well controlled the blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise. This is because uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth.

What Dental Problems Are People With Diabetes at Higher Risk For?

People with diabetes face a higher risk of:
  • Dry mouth. Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth can further lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis and periodontitis). Besides impairing white blood cells, another complication of diabetes is that it causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. When this combination of events happens, the body's ability to fight infections is reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics with uncontrolled disease may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
  • Poor healing of oral tissues. People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.
  • Thrush. People with diabetes who frequently take antibiotics to fight various infections are especially prone to developing a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.
  • Burning mouth and/or tongue. This condition is caused by the presence of thrush.
People with diabetes who smoke are at even a higher risk -- up to 20 times more likely than nonsmokers for the development of thrush and periodontal disease. Smoking also seems to impair blood flow to the gums which may affect wound healing in this tissue area.

Day-to-Day Dental Health Care Tips

  • Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition.)
  • Prevent plaque buildup on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.
  • dental-health-dental-care-diabetes

Monday, 2 July 2012

Diabetes and Dental Health

Dental hygiene is an essential part of good health. For diabetics, problems with the teeth and gums can be more common and more serious than for the average person.

For this reason, if you have diabetes dental care is even more important, but it does not mean that you have to adopt a new or different treatment regimen.

Being aware of how best to look after your teeth is an essential part of learning to live with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes and gum diseases


Gum disease is a very common infection and occurs when bacteria within the mouth begins to form into a sticky plaque which sits on the surface of the tooth.

Over time, if this is not removed by regular brushing using the correct technique, a gum inflammation called gingivitis can develop.



Symptoms of gingivitis can include:
  • Red and swollen gums
  • Bleeding will often occur whilst brushing.
  • Gum disease will stem from untreated gingivitis, and in turn the teeth will begin to decay.
One unfortunate side effect of diabetes and high blood glucose levels is the fact that any infection in or on the body will spread more easily.

Keeping blood glucose levels under control reduces the risk of infection spreading. Unfortunately, when your body begins to fight an infection, blood glucose levels will usually rise in response. Should the infection in your mouth become worse, your food intake could be affected, further affecting your diabetes.



Thrush of the mouth is also more common amongst people who have poor blood glucose control.

Ways to ensure good dental hygiene as a diabetic


Making sure that you visit a dentist every six months ensures that any infection will be treated as early as possible. Minor dental problems can quickly escalate, and a routine visit to the dentist will pick up on these.
In the UK, although diabetic people are more prone to dental problems, they do not receive any extra financial help for dental treatment.

Dental hygiene, diabetes, and heart problems


Diabetes can cause excess cholesterol to build up in the bloodstream.

If your gums also have an infection that isn’t treated quickly then bacteria from the infected gums can flow into the bloodstream.

In turn, this may intensify the speed at which arteries are clogged by cholesterol. As a diabetic, make sure that you look after both your teeth and your gums, and visit your dentist regularly.

Diabetes, the toothbrush, and brushing techniques


A good quality toothbrush can make all the difference to a brushing routine. Toothbrushes should have soft nylon bristles with rounded ends. They should be used gently and feel comfortable in the hand. A dentist or hygienist will have advice about the best type of toothbrush to use.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Keep your teeth healthy

Diabetes: Keep your teeth healthy 


Diabetes can cause changes in your mouth that affect the gums and oral tissues. Two common diseases of the mouth are:
These diseases begin with bacteria in the plaque on your teeth, which cause the gums to become red, swollen and bleed easily. If untreated, plaques spread and grow between the teeth and gums, forming pockets with toxins that cause the gums to separate from the teeth, leading to tooth loss.
Gingivitis is the milder form of the two gum diseases and is often related to poor oral care. Gingivitis is reversible with good oral care.

People with diabetes who have poor blood glucose control often have severe periodontal disease. Complicating the situation is that if you have diabetes, periodontal disease can make it more difficult to control your blood glucose. Also, if you have diabetes and periodontal disease, you're at significantly greater risk of heart and kidney disease.

What is good oral care?

To properly care for your teeth and help prevent problems:
  • See your dentist twice a year, and let him or her know you have diabetes.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day.
  • Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • Brush your tongue.
  • Floss daily.
  • Check for signs of gum disease, such as bleeding gums, redness and swelling, and tell your dentist if you experience these.
Keep brushing and flossing, and have a good health.

Day-to-Day Dental Health Care Tips


  • Have your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year. (Your dentist may recommend a closer interval depending upon your condition.)
  • Prevent plaque buildup on teeth by using dental floss at least once a day.
  • Brush your teeth after every meal. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
  • If you wear dentures, remove them and clean them daily.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit.

Sunday, 20 May 2012

Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes can cause serious problems in the mouth. The most common oral health problems associated with diabetes are tooth decay, periodontal (gum) disease ; salivary gland dysfunction; fungal infections; lichen planus and lichenoid reactions (inflammatory skin disease); infection and delayed healing; and taste impairment.

If your blood glucose levels are not controlled, you are at greater risk of dental problems.

Diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows down the healing process , so people who have diabetes tend to have severe cases of Periodontitis. An infection such as periodontitis may also raise blood glucose level , which makes diabetes more difficult to control. Periodontal disease may also make it hard to control blood glucose.