Diabetes and Your Dental Health

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According to the CDC, 34.2 million people or 10.5% of the US population has Diabetes.

Based on research, more than 7 million of those people don’t know that they have the disease.

In addition, it is estimated that close to 90 million (about 35% of US adults) additional Americans have Prediabetes (early-stage Diabetes) and are at increased risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes.

A few facts about Diabetes:

  • Diabetes is considered a long-term chronic lifestyle disease.
  • It may prevent your body from making enough insulin or cause your body to use insulin inefficiently.
  • Either scenario can result in too much sugar remaining in the bloodstream of affected individuals.
  • Over years or decades, this can lead to other serious diseases such as heart disease, diminished vision, kidney disease etc.
  • Diabetes is among the leading causes of death in the United States (7th).
  • It is the leading cause of kidney failure, limb amputations and adult blindness.
  • Over the past 2 decades, Diabetes diagnosis in the US has more than doubled.

Source: Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Poor Diabetes control can also lead to poor dental health. Individuals with poor blood sugar level control may experience serious gum disease (periodontitis) and a range of negative associated outcomes including:

  • Gingivitis
  • Bad Breath (Halitosis)
  • Bleeding / red tender gums (especially when brushing)
  • Loose teeth or tooth loss
  • Receding gums
  • Puss between teeth
  • Thrush and other infections
  • Dry mouth
  • Cavities
  • Longer healing periods

Diabetes Dental Care

The best way for Diabetes patients to maintain good general health as well as dental health is to achieve appropriate blood sugar level control.

This may require a combination of options such as medication, weight control, exercise, diet and attitude changes among other things.

In addition, it is very important to keep teeth and gums clean and free of plaque buildup.

Dentists recommend brushing at least twice daily (after each meal is also recommended) as well as flossing daily.

Regular dental visits as well as 2 or more professional dental cleanings a year are generally recommended as well.

Remember to discuss you Diabetes diagnosis with your Dentist as they can and should be a critical part of you Diabetes care team.

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