Diabetes Prevention is in Your Hands… and Your Mouth!
There is more to brushing your teeth than keeping those pearly whites clean and healthy—you can also help prevent and control diabetes.
Gum disease and diabetes are closely connected. Diabetes and poor control of blood sugar can lead to an increase in gum disease and gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar. The good news is that there are many ways to help control diabetes (and even decrease your chances of developing this disease) including exercise, eating healthy, and not smoking.
Visiting your dentist is also an important part of a diabetes management plan. Besides the routine care dentists provide for your mouth, here are a few ways dentists can affect diabetes:
- Dentists can help prevent diabetes.People with gum disease have a much greater chance of getting type 2 diabetes – up to two times greater than people with healthy gums. Your dentist can help your gums stay healthy which can help reduce your risk of diabetes.
- Dentists can help diagnose diabetes.Because symptoms may be subtle, diabetes often goes unnoticed for years. The mouth can offer clear-cut signals that the disease is present, and your dentist is trained to spot these warning signs.
- Dentists can help prevent and treat side effects of diabetes.Diabetics often have problems with their teeth and gums due to high glucose levels which help bacteria thrive. Your dentist can help control these issues.
- Dentists can help control diabetes.Studies suggest that diabetics with gum disease who receive appropriate dental maintenance and care are healthier and often experience a reduction in blood glucose levels. This is promising news considering early evidence suggests that for every one-point reduction in A1c blood glucose levels, there is a 40 percent reduction in the risk for diabetic complications of the eye, kidney, and nervous system. A one-point reduction also appears to decrease the incidence of heart attacks by 14 percent and diabetic-related deaths by 21 percent.
The better you care for your teeth, the better your health will be. Visit www.oralhealth.deltadental.com for information and resources to help you understand and preserve your oral health and overall wellness.
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