Did you know that nearly 1/3 of people who have diabetes don’t even know they have it? This is a scary thought, and a role that dentist quite often play in diagnosing. When us as dentists see a patient with multiple abscesses in their mouth, we will immediately call for a glucose tolerance test.
The diabetes and dental health connection have a root cause in gum disease, like many of these overall health issues which can stem from your dental health. Diabetes and gum disease can interact in a viscous cycle. What happens is that infections of any kind, gum disease being included, produce proteins called cytokines. These proteins increase insulin resistance and make blood sugar levels very difficult to control. The vicious cycle part of this come into play because gum diabetes itself inhibits the body’s ability to heal itself and therefore makes gum disease that much harder to control. Therefore, people who have diabetes need to pay even closer attention to their dental health and make sure that they visit their dentist EVERY time for their regular cleanings.
In the 54 million Americans who are classified as pre diabetic, gum disease may also speed the progression to full-blown diabetes. According to the American Diabetes Association, many people first become aware they have diabetes when they develop dental disease as a byproduct. In a 2007 study, Danish researchers compared pre diabetic rats with gum disease to pre diabetic rats without. The conclusion was that the rats with gum disease soon showed increased insulin resistance and other signs of progression toward type 2 diabetes.
So what can we take away from this information? Like most articles on dental health and it’s consequences, the best things that you can do to prevent these issues from happening are your dental hygiene basics that you’ve heard from us dentists over and over again throughout your whole life. Maybe it just seems like repetitive noise after a while, but these simple habits really can not just help protect your teeth and gums; but your overall health as well.
The habits of:
- brushing after EVERY meal
- floss properly at least once a day
- use an anti bacterial mouthwash like Listerine, and a fluoride mouthwash such as ACT
- visiting your dentist EVERY 6 months for your regular cleanings
So if you don’t already, start religiously doing these simple dental hygiene basics in your life and be thankful, versus regretful years down the road in your life.
Contact us today to schedule your next regular cleaning!