November is Diabetes Awareness Month, and if you or someone you love is afflicted with this disease, it’s important to note how it can affect your oral health.

Diabetes is a unique disease in that it can affect the whole body, including your mouth. Dry mouth is one of these potential side effects, which can lead to soreness, ulcers, infection and tooth decay. Thrush is another oral condition sometimes spurred on by diabetes. Those living with diabetes and taking antibiotics to fight infections are more likely to be diagnosed with thrush. This infection of the mouth and tongue is caused by a fungus, which thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.

Here are some tips for ensuring a happy mouth when afflicted with diabetes:

1) Monitor and keep your blood sugar levels as close to normal as possible.
2) If you have dry mouth, try a mouthwash without alcohol.
3) Brush teeth after every meal.
4) Floss at least once a day.
5) Visit your dentist at minimum twice annually. Your dentist may recommend more frequent visits, depending on your condition.

Always remember that proper long-term care of diabetes can help prevent many problems down the road.

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