When we talk about diabetes, we talk about sugar intake – and for good reason. Regulating blood sugar is crucial to staying healthy with diabetes. But as medical knowledge has increased, the connection between diabetes and oral health has become clear – and we’ve done our best to help people understand the connection.
But what we don’t often talk about is how particularly important it is for those with diabetes to prioritize flossing. As many diabetics know, the condition makes fighting infections difficult. Because periodontal disease is an infection of the gum tissues and underlying structures, a person with diabetes is at greater risk of developing the disease than non-diabetics. The correlation works both ways, which means that people who have periodontal disease are also more likely to become diabetic.
Periodontal disease is directly linked to bacteria in the mouth, which hides especially between teeth – but can be controlled with regular interdental cleaning. Luckily for the floss-adverse, string floss is not the only way to clean between teeth! There are many options to choose from:
The bacteria that cause gum disease grow in colonies. Regular brushing helps to interrupt these colonies, but because 40% of the tooth’s surface falls between the teeth, the colonies continue to grow in those spaces. Interdental cleaning (with floss or otherwise) ensures that bacteria are removed from the entire tooth surface.
Still not convinced? Give this a try. Brush your teeth like you normally would, then floss. As you floss, pay attention to the food, plaque and debris that you are removing. You will likely find that brushing leaves behind a great deal of material – all of which you don’t want hanging around your teeth!
Remember – you don’t have to floss all of your teeth – just the ones you want to keep!