According to the current Diabetes Atlas of the DDZ (German Diabetes Center), there are approximately 7.6 million people with diabetes diagnosis in Germany. This corresponds to about 9% of the population and includes both people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes can have a negative impact on dental health, as high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of various dental problems. Poor blood glucose control can lead to a variety of oral complications. One of the main reasons is the increased risk of gum disease. People with diabetes have a higher risk of gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis. High blood glucose levels promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth and increase the inflammatory response of the gums. This can lead to bleeding gums, swelling and receding gums. Diabetes can also affect wound healing in the mouth. Even minor injuries or procedures in the mouth can take longer to heal. This can lead to delayed recovery from gum inflammation, oral ulcers, or after dental procedures.
People with diabetes often suffer from dry mouth. A dry mouth can increase the risk of tooth decay, because saliva has an important protective function for the teeth and helps to neutralize acids. Without sufficient saliva flow, bacteria and acids can accumulate in the mouth and lead to tooth decay. High blood sugar levels can also increase the risk of tooth decay. Bacteria in the mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that can attack tooth enamel and cause tooth decay. People with diabetes often have higher levels of sugar in their saliva, which further increases the risk of tooth decay.
In addition, diabetes can prevent optimal blood flow in the body, including gum tissue. Poor blood flow can impair the body's ability to fight infections and heal wounds, including those in the mouth.
To maintain healthy teeth in diabetes, good blood glucose control is important. Regular dental examinations and professional dental cleanings are the basis of good prophylaxis, so that problems can be detected and treated early on. Good daily oral hygiene at home - with regular teeth brushing, flossing and mouth rinsing - is also important to remove plaque and bacteria. Here are some tips on how to care for your teeth properly:
Keep your blood sugar under control: A well-controlled blood sugar level helps reduce the risk of dental problems. Follow your doctor's instructions for controlling your diabetes and keep your blood sugar levels stable.
Brush teeth twice a day: Use a soft toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste to thoroughly clean your teeth. Brush gently (without much pressure on the brush head) from red to white to remove plaque. Also be sure to clean the tongue, as bacteria can accumulate there more.
Use dental floss or interdental brushes: Clean the interdental spaces daily with dental floss to remove plaque and food debris. This reduces the risk of gum disease.
Use colorless mouthwashes: Rinse your mouth regularly with an antimicrobial mouthwash before brushing your teeth to remove bacteria and improve your oral health. Choose a mouthwash that does not have alcohol or color additives mixed in. The latter can discolor the teeth in the long run.
Avoid smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can increase the risk of dental problems. Try to avoid or cut back on these habits.
Eat a balanced diet: A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can help keep teeth and gums healthy and your blood sugar levels under control.
Look for signs of dental problems: Look for symptoms such as bleeding gums, dry mouth, bad breath or loose teeth. If you notice such problems, see your dentist immediately.
Visit the dentist regularly: Have yourself examined at least twice a year and have your teeth professionally cleaned. Your dentist can detect and treat dental problems early. It is important that you talk to him about your diabetes so that he can help you with proper dental care.