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Managing Mouth Care with Type 2 Diabetes

People with type 2 diabetes tend to have more problems with their teeth and gums if their blood glucose remains high. The following measures can help protect your teeth and gums from developing oral infections:

  • Get your teeth and gums cleaned and checked regularly.

  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Pay special attention to the gum line.

  • Floss at least once a day.

  • Call your dentist if you have red, sore, or bleeding gums or a sore tooth.

Remember that it is important to keep your blood glucose at a healthy level. Here are some general tips to help you do just that:

  • Follow your doctor’s dietary recommendations.

  • Don’t forget to take your medicine.

  • Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days. Consult with your doctor first.

  • Check and record your blood glucose each day.

Traveling might disrupt your routine and affect your blood glucose, so plan accordingly:

  • Arrange ahead of time for a diabetic meal if you’re traveling by plane, train, or ship.

  • Carry extra food with you in case meals are late.

  • Carry twice as much medicine and blood testing supplies as you normally need with you. Keep them in your carry-on bag.

  • Ask your doctor how to adjust your medications, especially insulin, if you’re traveling across multiple time zones.

“Prevent Diabetes Problems: Keep Your Mouth Healthy.” National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse, May 2012. www.diabetes.niddk.nih.gov/dm/pubs/complications_teeth/index.htmAccessed 2013.

“Diabetes Health Concerns.” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, November 7, 2012. www.cdc.gov/diabetes/consumer/problems.htmAccessed 2013.

“Have Diabetes. Will Travel.” National Diabetes Education Program, June 2006. http://ndep.nih.gov/resources/index.aspx?ToolType=10 Accessed 2013.

“Decay.” Mouth Healthy, American Dental Association. www.mouthhealthy.org/en/az-topics/d/decay.aspx Accessed 2013.

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