Proper Tooth Care For Diabetics

Posted on in Food & Health

The Center for Disease Control recognizes that Diabetes is the sixth leading cause of death among Americans. As many as 18 million Americans have diabetes and 41 million have pre-diabetes. Diabetes that goes unchecked or untreated can result in serious and life-threatening complications, such as blindness; kidney disease; heart disease, stroke, nerve disease that can lead to limb amputation, and, most relevant to me, loss of teeth.

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

What people with diabetes and pre-diabetes should know is that regular trips to the dentist can not only give them a more healthy, radiant smile, but can actually improve their overall health. Diabetics are twice as likely to have gum and bone disease as non-diabetics. In fact, research studies have found a link between periodontal disease (gum disease) and diabetes. Conversely, severe periodontal disease may increase the risk of developing diabetes, and may make it more difficult to manage blood sugar levels.

Periodontitis is associated with an increased risk for diabetic complications which include either major cardiovascular, cerebrovascular, or peripheral vascular events. In plain English, diabetes increases the risk of blood clots that can kill you or mess you up and not treating you teeth can increase the risk of diabetes.

Insulin Sensitivity

Removing the bacteria around the teeth reduces periodontal inflammation and may increase insulin sensitivity, resulting in improved sugar control. In addition to helping patients understand the connection between oral health care and overall health, dental hygienists educate patients about proper oral hygiene and treat periodontal disease to prevent the condition from advancing and complicating diabetes.

To keep your teeth and gums healthy, one should keep blood glucose levels as close to normal as possible. Use dental floss at least once a day and brush teeth after each meal and snack. If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to help you quit. If you have diabetes and problems with your teeth and gums see a dentist as soon as possible. This is Dr. Aaron Johnson saying keep flossing.