Check Your Health: Oral health & diabetes

Check Your Health - Oral Health & Diabetes
Good oral health is important to your overall health. Many health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease, are linked to oral health. It is important to talk with both your dentist and primary care provider about your oral health. People with diabetes can have tooth and gum problems more often than those without diabetes if their blood glucose stays high. In fact, it’s estimated that one-third of people with diabetes have severe gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. High glucose levels can make periodontal disease worse and may even result in tooth loss.

Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, adding severe gum disease to the list of other complications associated with diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.

Uncontrolled diabetes increases inflammation in the body and mouth – destroying tissues that support the teeth. Consequently, meticulous oral health care is especially important for people with diabetes. Brushing your teeth two times per day with a soft toothbrush will help to remove plaque as will flossing one time per day. Even eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables can help you maintain good oral health.

It’s also important to see a dentist on a regular basis. Research has found that people with diabetes and gum disease who receive routine dental care experience fewer medical complications and hospitalizations, and reduced health care spending.