Diabetes is becoming a major health issue for many Americans. The disease affects 25.8 million children and adults in the U.S. which is 8.3% of the population. As we age the numbers increase. At age 65 years or older 10.9 million or 26.9% people have diabetes. Adults with diabetes have higher heart disease death rates. They are 2-4 times higher than adults without diabetes.
How does all this correlate with oral health? It is known that people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. This occurs because diabetics are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to fight the bacteria that invade the gums. Patients with severe gum disease may also have a harder time controlling their blood glucose levels. This can potentially lead o the progression of diabetes.
Below are some dental recommendations that can help prevent gum disease and help with potential diabetic issues: 1)Brush twice per day, 2)Floss regularly-at least once per day, 3)Have a dental exam and cleaning every six months or as often as indicated by the dentist, 4)Let your dentist or hygenist know if you have diabetes as well as any other medical condition, 5)Choose a healthy lifestyle by being active, eat a well balanced diet, manintain your blood glucose as close to normal, and do not smoke. Avoiding sugary drinks such as pop, sports drinks, fruit drinks, etc. helps keep your blood glucose from peaking.
Diabetes impacts many Americans. With good dental and oral health perhaps some diabetic issues can be prevented.