Font Sizes:

Diabetes Hub: Guide to Managing Diabetes

National Diabetes Reference Materials - An initiative under the War on Diabetes

Home > Take Control - Foot and Dental Care

Foot and Dental Care

1
Foot complications
Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to foot
complications
Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to foot complications like nerve damage Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to foot complications like calluses and ulcers

Nerve damage can make your foot feel numb and change its shape, increasing your risk of getting calluses and ulcers.

Foot complications caused by diabetes can make wounds heal poorly Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to amputation

Extremely poor blood circulation (vasculopathy) can cause wounds to heal poorly; an amputation may be required to save your life.

2
Foot care practices
Good foot care practices
Good foot care practices like monitoring your feet every day prevent complications

Monitor feet every day
Watch out for:
Blister, wounds, corn, callus, or toenail abnormality
Redness, swelling, bruise, or increase warmth

Maintaining good foot care and hygiene help prevent complications

Maintain good foot care and hygiene
Clean feet daily with mild soap and water
Use a pumice stone or foot file to gently remove hard skin
Avoid cutting nails too short; cut them straight across and file corners

Moisturising your foot regularly helps prevent complications

Moisturise regularly
Avoid using harsh soap
Apply moisturiser daily but not between each toe
Avoid scrathing skin as it may lead wound or bleeding

Wearing well-fitting and covered footwear helps prevent complications

Wear well-fitting and covered footwear
Wear well-fitting covered shoes with socks
Home sandals are recommended
Check and remove any stones or sharp object inside shoes before wearing them

Applying simple first aid for small wounds helps prevent complications

Apply simple first aid for small wounds
Clean small wounds with saline before applying antiseptic and covering with a plaster
Home sandals are recommended
Seek medical help if there is no improvement after two days or if there is signs of inspection

Seeking medical help if your wound is not healing well or worsens helps prevent complications

Seek medical help if wound is not healing well or worsens
If signs of infection are present, such as redness, swelling, increased pain, pus, fever, or the wound start to smell, seek medical help as soon as possible

Keep a record of what happened prior to hypoglycaemia

Seek immediate medical attention if your foot is cold, pale, discoloured, numb, painful or unable to move

Where to go for further help
  • Go to your doctor for advice, and if needed you can get a referal to a podiatrist for further management
  • Seek early review by a podiatrist if your foot feels numb (e.g you are unable to feel your footwear properly)
3
Footwear
Good footwear is important

Ideal features of supportive footwear

Wearing a good footwear is important in managing diabetes
Remember to
  • Choose socks with tops that are not too tight
  • Wear a pair of cotton socks or stockings with your shoes at all times
  • Wear well-fitted covered shoes
  • Check and remove any stones or sharp object inside your shoes before wearing them
  • Use suitable footwear for different activities (e.g exercise with sports shoes, do daily shopping with sandals or sports shoes, and use bedroom slippers with cushioning at home
4
Oral care
Keep your mouth healthy
Brush your teeth and tongue twice a day to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

Brush your teeth and tongue at least twice a day (in the morning and before sleeping) for 2 minutes with fluoride toothpaste

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

Use a soft-bristled toothbrush; change every 3 months or when bristles spread out

If you wear dentures, clean them after every meal to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

If you wear dentures, clean them after every meal; remove, clean and soak dentures in water before sleeping

Clean in between your teeth with floss to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

Clean in between your teeth with a floss or interdental brush at least once a day

Tilting your brush at an angle while brushing is a way to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

Tilt the brush at an angle to your gum line, moving it in small circular motions across all front, back and chewing surfaces of your teeth, not forgetting the back molars

Get your teeth checked every 6 months to 1 year to keep your mouth healthy and help manage diabetes

Visit a dentist every 6 months to 1 year to have your teeth checked; inform the dentist that you have diabetes, how your blood sugar control is and what medication you are taking

5
When to see the dentist
See your dentist if you have ...
See your dentist if you have persistent bleeding gums to prevent complications

Persistent bleeding gums

See your dentist if you have white patches in your mouth to prevent complications

White patches in your mouth

See your dentist if you have receding gum lines

Receding gum lines

See your dentist if you have loose, shaky or widening gaps between your adult teeth

Loose or shaky adult teeth and/or widening gaps between your adult teeth

See your dentist if you feel pain in your mouth to prevent complications

Pain in your mouth

See your dentist if you have bad breath or dry burning sensation in your mouth to prevent complications

Bad breath or dry burning sensation in your mouth


Back to Top