D&D—Diabetes and Dental Health
For the millions of individuals living with diabetes, the “theory” of whole health is a reality. Diabetes patients have firsthand experience of how one body system imbalance effects the entire body. Hence, it is not surprising that scientific studies have proven that poor oral health has a deep connection with the development of diabetes even in individuals who had no prior history of the disease. But how does this occur, precisely? And what can we do to prevent oral disasters?
The Plight of Oral Bacteria
Oral bacteria can slowly create a snowball effect to bad health. When left unabated, bacterial infections leads to gingivitis; the early stage of gum disease. Sufferers typically experience gum inflammation and bleeding, which leads to periodontitis, an advanced stage of gum disease that causes the gums to separate from the teeth. In such cases, infectious germs spread rampantly between the teeth and gums and the bones that surround the teeth. The teeth can eventually fall out or need to be surgically removed in an attempt to salvage the gums. Additionally, gum disease has the ability to spike glucose levels in individuals who already have, or who are at risk for, diabetes, and can, therefore, contribute to the progression of diabetes.
The Catch-22 of Diabetes
Diabetes has the propensity to spur a slew of undesirable health problems in the nervous system, kidneys, heart, feet, skin and eyes. However, just as gum disease can lead to systemic diseases, the opposite can occur. Diabetes is often an initiator of other oral problems, such as thrush and dry mouth. This is yet another rationale for the undeniable link between diabetes and dental health. In Canada, the prevalence and economic costs of diabetes continue to grow. And although diabetes does not directly lead to death, the disease creates multiple complications that threaten longevity. “As a dentist, I’ve seen the dramatic effects of diabetes and neglectful oral health up close,” says Dr. Adam Tan of Georgian Dental in Barrie, Ontario. “The attention we give our oral health plays a larger role in our overall health than what is generally accepted.”
just as gum disease can lead to systemic diseases, the opposite can occur.
Oral Hygiene & Diabetes
First and foremost, in order to prevent poor oral health while living with diabetes, it is paramount to control blood glucose levels. Besides being the cornerstone to the overall well-being of diabetics, proper blood glucose levels can help prevent dry mouth caused by diabetes, cavities, ulcers and the spread of oral infections. Yet, excellent oral hygiene is vital to staving off the development or the complications of diabetes. Visiting a dentist that understands the link between the two is extremely helpful.
The standard dental recommendations still prove healthful. Keep teeth clean by brushing at least twice a day and be sure to properly floss teeth at least once daily. Have regular check-ups with the dentist every 6 months (every three (3) months if you are a diabetic and have a history of oral problems). In Barrie and Orillia, diabetes is a silent epidemic that isn’t publicized greatly. However, at Georgian Dental® we are constantly striving to address the problem and its roots in the field of dentistry.
Are you currently diagnosed with diabetes or part of the at-risk group? Acquiring excellent dental care is one of the best strategies that you can implement to improve and maintain your health. Whether you are requiring an Orillia dentist or a Barrie dentist, Georgian Dental is there. Call today Georgian Dental® today to see how we approach diabetes and dental health.
Georgian Dental® Orillia: (705)-325-1765
Georgian Dental® Barrie: (705)-739-6725