Dental, Foot, & Skin Care
Diabetes Dental Tips
Too much glucose (sugar) in your blood from diabetes can cause pain, infection, and other problems in your mouth. These infections can also lead to infections in the blood stream. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes is at greater risk of developing periodontal disease, which , if unchecked, can cause infection, tooth loss, and other problems.
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Foot and Skin Care
High blood glucose can, over time, damage nerves throughout the body which is known as diabetes neuropathy. Some people may experience numbness or tingling in their hands, feet, arms, or legs. Some people feel pain, while others have no symptoms.
Over half of people with diabetes have some form of nerve damage from diabetes. People with diabetes can develop neuropathy at any time, but risk rises with age and the duration of the disease. People who have had diabetes for over 25 years have the highest rates of nerve damage from diabetes, and those with trouble keeping their blood glucose in range are the ones most likely to develop a form of neuropathy. Keeping blood glucose under control is important to prevent damage to nerves and delay onset.
It is important for those living with diabetes to pay special attention to their feet and skin. High blood glucose levels can lead to foot and skin complications.
- Nerve Damage – Nerve damage can prevent an individual from feeling pain, heat or cold in their legs and feet, thus making it more difficult to identify cuts or sores. Unidentified and/or ignored cuts and sores can easily become infected.
- Poor Blood Flow – Uncontrolled diabetes management can affect the heart and vascular system. Problems arise when not enough blood flows to the legs and feet, and as a result, cuts, sores and infections cannot heal. The medical term for this problem is peripheral vascular disease (PVD). Compounded with smoking, this disease can be much worse.
- Dry Skin – Dry skin is a problem for those living with diabetes and often time leads to cracks in the skin.
To Prevent Complications
- Keep your blood sugar as close as possible to normal levels
- Do leg exercises to improve circulation
- Wear loose socks
- Never go barefoot
- Buy comfortable, closed-toe shoes
- Inspect feet daily for cuts, blisters, sores, swelling, redness, or sore toenails
- Have your doctor test your nerve function
- Moisturize the heels and soles of your feet; avoid moisturizing between the toes. This will help prevent cracks, which can become infected.
- See a podiatrist regularly to catch problems early