Don't Lose Your Teeth to Diabetes

in Diabetes

In a 2007 study a group of PhD's concluded that people with diabetes run a 149% higher risk of losing one or more teeth to decay or periodontal disease than people without diabetes. They tested more than 155,000 people who showed an almost 40% higher rate of tooth removal or loss due to diabetes. That's a scary number when you think about it. Even diabetics who visited their dentists regularly had a higher rate of tooth loss than non diabetics.

Diabetes Mellitus often referred to as Diabetes, is a metabolic disorder characterized by abnormally high blood sugar levels. It's estimated that nearly 7% of the population suffers from either Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association estimates that a third of the entire population suffers from this deadly disease - but is unaware that they have it.

Imagine a cascading effect in your body. Diabetes first compromises your immune system which then increases the likelihood of oral disease. Oral disease increases your risk for heart disease and even stroke.

So if you don't take care of your teeth - you could die from it.

And young people, who already have poor dental hygiene, seem to be even more susceptible to this scourge. Obesity can also be a contributing factor for both children and adults. In a simplistic model, one molecule of fat traps one molecule of insulin. So, the fatter you are, the less insulin you have available in your system, and the higher your blood sugar levels become - the more diabetic you become. This of course can then trigger the oral health, heart disease cascade. It's a vicious circle.

If you or a loved one suffer from diabetes, it's critically important to maintain excellent oral health. By doing preventative care between your regular dental exams, you may also be helping to control your blood glucose. And if you don't think you're diabetic, but you're over weight - get your blood sugar levels checked as soon as you can.

Here are some tips for good oral care from the American Dental Association (ADA):

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day with a recommended fluoride toothpaste.
  • Replace your tooth brush regularly (about every 3-4 months).
  • Clean between your teeth with floss to remove bacteria and food particles.
  • Antimicrobial mouth washes can reduce bacteria and help eliminate gingivitis (gum disease).
  • Place the brush at a slight angle to the gums and brush gently to remove plaque.
  • Clean the inner, outer and top surfaces of your teeth.
  • Brushing your tongue helps remove bacteria that cause bad breath and can infect gums.
  • Remember to brush and floss behind your back teeth.

The Most Important Tip Of All:

If you're diabetic, it's critically important that you see your dentist several times a year instead of the single annual visit usually recommended.

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Ethan R Alexander has 1 articles online

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Don't Lose Your Teeth to Diabetes

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This article was published on 2010/04/01