Diabetics Need Dentists!

by Jason 4/25/2013 2:53 PM

Research suggests a two-way relationship between serious periodontal (gum) disease and diabetes. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to severe gum disease, but your gum disease may actually contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Unfortunately, studies have found that people with diabetes see their dentist less often than those without the disease.  Dentist visits are crucial because oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are often reversible if they are diagnosed early and preventive treatments are delivered.

 To help you gain an understanding about how good oral health could influence your diabetes and vice-versa, we have compiled a frequently asked questions list about oral health and diabetes.

  1. Does diabetes change the health of the gums?
    Most studies found that more people with diabetes had gum disease. Also, their gum disease was worse than people without diabetes. Therefore, diabetes seems to change the health of the gums. People with diabetes have more gum disease, which makes it important to floss every day.
  2. Does the amount of long-term sugar in the blood change the health of gums?
    People with poorly controlled diabetes have too much sugar in the blood most of the time. Most studies found that people who controlled their disease had less gum disease than those who did not.
  3. Does having healthy gums change diabetes? If gum disease is treated, does this change the amount of long-term sugar in the blood?
    Most studies found that the amount of long-term blood sugar was lower after gum treatment. This means that treating gum disease seems to help control diabetes.
  4. Can gum disease cause diabetes?

    A large study showed that people with gum disease have a much greater chance—up to two times greater— of getting type 2 diabetes than people with healthy gums.

As you can see, maintaining good oral health could have a positive impact on people with or without diabetes. Plus, you gain all the other benefits from keeping your mouth clean.

The research for this report was generously supported with funding from Delta Dental Plans Association and performed by the University of Michigan by George W. Taylor, Wenche S. Borgnakke, Patricia F. Anderson, and M. Carol Shannon. ©DDPA 2009.


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