SOFT Smiles ©

Specialized Oral Focused Training
For Professional and Family Caregivers

The Georgia Board of Dentistry reviewed SOFT Smiles©
"...find your program to be excellent and a valuable asset
to the citizens of Georgia."

Diabetes is usually a lifelong (chronic) disease in which there are high levels of sugar in the blood. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas to control blood sugar; it can be caused by too little insulin, resistance to insulin, or both.

With prediabetes, Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes on the rise, it’s important to first prevent the condition through healthy life choices. Second, Type 2 diabetes often goes undetected for an average of 4-5 years.


After many years, diabetes can lead to other serious problems:

  • You could have eye problems, including trouble seeing (especially at night) and light sensitivity. You could become blind.
  • Your feet and skin can get painful sores and infections. Sometimes, your foot or leg may need to be removed.
  • Nerves in the body can become damaged, causing pain, tingling, and a loss of feeling.
  • Because of nerve damage, you could have problems digesting the food you eat. This can cause trouble going to the bathroom. Nerve damage can also make it harder for men to have an erection.

The A1C test is a common blood test used to diagnose prediabetes, type 1 and type 2 diabetes and then to gauge how well you're managing your diabetes. The A1C test goes by many other names, including glycated hemoglobin, glycosylated hemoglobin, hemoglobin A1C and HbA1c.

The A1C test result reflects your average blood sugar level for the past two to three months. Specifically, the A1C test measures what percentage of your hemoglobin — a protein in red blood cells that carries oxygen — is coated with sugar (glycated). The higher your A1C level, the poorer your blood sugar control and the higher your risk of diabetes complications.

For a person without diabetes, a typical A1C level is about 5%. If you have diabetes, it's recommended, by the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists (AACE), that a level of 6.5% or below should be your target goal. The American Diabetes Association (ADA) suggests a goal of 7% or lower.

Diabetes can lead to poor oral health, but poor oral health can also make your diabetes more difficult to control. Infections in your mouth may cause your blood sugar to rise and require more insulin to keep it under control. In addition to gum disease, people with diabetes are at risk for burning mouth syndrome, cavities, dry mouth, fungal infections and bad breath. If you have diabetes and suffer from any of these conditions, ask your dental hygienist how she or he can help.

High blood sugar that accompanies diabetes can give the bacteria in dental plaque a greater supply of sugars and starches, leading to the production of acid, which increases the risk of both tooth decay and gum disease. To help prevent damage to your teeth and gums, ask your dental hygienist for tips on keeping your mouth healthy. To get started you can:

  • Keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible.
  • Use dental floss at least once a day. Flossing helps prevent the buildup of dental plaque on your teeth.
  • Using a soft toothbrush, brush your teeth after each meal and snack.
  • Use rinses as suggested by your dental hygienist.

If you smoke, stop! Your dental hygienist has resources to help you on your path to quitting.

"Good Oral Health for Life"©