Diabetes is a complex medical condition that requires careful monitoring and attention. It is important when considering overall wellness in a diabetic individual to devote attention to oral health, as well. The challenges of diabetes management include some special challenges for dental health.
The pH Rollercoaster
Blood sugar control is vital when living with diabetes. Patients may need to eat regularly to maintain proper blood sugar control. Unfortunately, eating even small, healthy foods at short intervals interrupts the mouth’s natural mechanisms for maintaining a healthy pH.
After eating, the pH in the mouth changes from neutral, which is safe for teeth, to an acidic environment. The acidic environment dissolves natural teeth minerals. Ideally, the mouth then has time to return to neutral and the dissolved minerals redeposit on the tooth surface.
When meals or snacks are frequent, there is not sufficient time for the mouth to return to a high (healthy) pH before more food lowers the pH again. This constant acidic environment does not allow minerals to redeposit and can cause permanent enamel damage.
So what is the diabetic, who needs frequent snacks to maintain healthy blood sugar, to do? A rinse specially designed to restore healthy pH, like CariFree CTx3 Rinse, can help mitigate the issues caused by an acidic oral environment.
The Desert Effect
Dry mouth is more than an unpleasant feeling, common in people who frequently take medication. Saliva is the body’s natural tooth protective mechanism. When there is not enough saliva, teeth suffer more decay and gum disease becomes prevalent. Diabetics frequently suffer dry mouth; which may, in fact, be the first symptom of the disease an individual notices even before diagnosis.
Luckily, it is possible to rehydrate a dry mouth and improve saliva quality and volume. CariFree CTx2 Spray freshens breath while moistening the mouth, allowing it to be both pleasant and tooth saving.
The Gum Factor
People with diabetes are at additional risk for periodontal (gum) disease. If dry mouth has been properly addressed, pH levels are being controlled, and good blood sugar control is in place, individuals with diabetes may benefit from some additional, research proven ingredients in their oral health routine.
Xylitol has been studied and shown to reduce tooth decay. Also, the body does not need insulin to metabolize xylitol, which makes it a low glycemic index food. CTx2 Xylitol Gum containing xylitol can help prevent decay and raise pH if chewed after meals.
Using a product with nano-hydroxyapatite crystallites can help remineralize teeth. CariFree CTx4 Gel 1100 contains this with neutral sodium fluoride to provide the best available cavity defense.
Your Dentist, Your Partner in Health
Obviously, regular dental checkups and cleanings to prevent or remove plaque buildup are essential for maintaining gum and tooth health. Because wound healing tends to be slower in diabetic individuals, it is far better to arrest problems early than try to reverse a deeply rooted problem. Even more so than for the general population, individuals with diabetes benefit from a good oral care routine.