Diabetic patients should brush up on oral health tips

Living with diabetes can come with many health issues; because it’s a disease that affects the blood, it can therefore affect just about any part of your body. Those who have been living with it for a while know that aside from damaging organs like the heart and kidneys, it can also damage mouth tissue if proper oral care isn’t maintained. Fortunately, there are some easy ways you can take care of your mouth and keep diabetes from taking hold.

Not only is it imperative to brush and floss every day, you’ll also need to think about preventative methods that will keep your teeth and gums healthy for years to come. Those patients diagnosed with diabetes should schedule regular checkups with the dentist and quit bad habits such as smoking or indulging in sugary treats.

The feet and ankles are also of concern to those battling diabetes, as the disease can weaken the nerves in those areas of the body and make it harder to feel pain, meaning a loss of feeling that could be dangerous. Read on here for risk factors.

Here are a few of the best tips on how to take care of your body when you have diabetes.

Check your feet

Because nerve damage is a real possibility for individuals who have consistent high blood sugar, it’s important to check your feet every day, even if they feel fine. Look for wounds that won’t heal as infection is one of the major factors in amputation for diabetic patients.

Carry a toothbrush

Since tooth decay and gum disease are so prevalent in diabetic patients, it’s important to keep your teeth clean at all times. Carry a toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and floss with you or leave a travel kit in your desk at work so you can clean up after lunch. Having them on hand will help you keep up with your oral health and maintain good habits, such as brushing after each meal.

It’s also a good idea to consider getting your teeth and gums fixed if you have existing oral health issues. High blood sugar will only make these problems worse; click here for information on the cost of dental implants.

Wear diabetic-friendly socks and shoes

The right socks and shoes can help you stay steady on your feet and reduce the discomfort of swelling or a change in the shape of your foot. They can also improve circulation, which is an issue for many people living with diabetes. Talk to your doctor about the right footwear and refrain from using lotion between your toes or soaking your feet, which can cause the tissue to become soft and vulnerable to infection.

Chuck those bad habits

Smoking or chewing tobacco can cause gum disease or cancer of the mouth, so it’s important to get rid of those bad habits as soon as possible. It’s also a good idea to make sure you keep your blood sugar in check, as continuous high levels can lead to severe issues with teeth and gums.

One of the best ways you can control your blood sugar is through your diet and exercise routine. Trade out refined sugars --found in white breads and rice and canned pasta sauce, for instance -- for whole grains and lots of fruits and veggies. Workout every day for at least 30 minutes to get your heart rate up and stay fit to help your circulation.

Living with diabetes is difficult even on the best of days, so make things easier on yourself where you can. Keep your blood sugar under control, exercise daily and get into healthy habits that will serve you for a lifetime.