Diabetes oral health

How to promote oral health for people with diabetes

November is National Diabetes Month 

Dentists and other oral health care providers play a key role in preventing and treating periodontal (gum) disease and other oral health problems. They can also help their patients improve their self-care behaviors, such as regular brushing and flossing of teeth.

Dentists can also use a team-based care approach to help their patients manage oral health problems more effectively. For example, if a patient needs a complicated dental procedure, the dentist can work with the patient’s primary care provider to determine the timing of the procedure and help the patient manage any needed changes in diet or medicines.

Dentists may also be able to identify people with undiagnosed diabetes by screening those at risk and referring them to their primary care provider for diagnosis.

Click here for full details: How to Promote Oral Health for People With Diabetes | Diabetes | CDC

Key Messages to Share with Your Patients

  • Encourage your patients with diabetes to get a dental exam at least once a year.
  • Remind your patients that:
    • Regular brushing and flossing is an important part of diabetes self-management.
    • Dental problems make it hard to eat healthy foods.
    • Smoking reduces the ability of the immune system to fight off or heal infections in the mouth.
    • Eating foods that are high in added sugars can harm oral health.
  • Share information from CDC’s Take Charge of Your Diabetes: Healthy Teeth fact sheet.

•Download this fact sheet from NIH’s National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research for patients on preventing oral complications of diabetes.

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