Fluoride and Diabetes
Cleaning teeth regularly is especially important for people with diabetes because they often suffer from dry mouth, or xerostomia. Chronic dry mouth can lead to tooth decay because there's not enough saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria, and to buffer the acid that causes decay.
Is Dry Mouth a Symptom of Diabetes?
If you have diabetes and you often suffer from dry mouth, your dental professional might recommend a fluoride rinse. If you have diabetes and you are prone to a dry mouth, you may want to brush your teeth more frequently to help get rid of food particles and bacteria. And consider using a soft-bristled toothbrush to avoid gum irritation.
Watchouts for Diabetics
Most fluoride rinses have artificial sweeteners that won't impact blood sugar, but be aware that there may be fluoride rinses that contain sugars that could affect glucose control in people with diabetes. Overall, fluoride rinses are safe, but be sure to follow the instructions and avoid swallowing the rinses.
Diabetes and Tooth Decay
Alternatively, professional fluoride treatments may be recommended for patients with diabetes to help protect against tooth decay. The best way for those with diabetes to prevent decay and gum disease is to follow a consistent oral health routine of twice-daily tooth brushing with a toothpaste with fluoride and daily flossing.