The two-way road of diabetes and gum disease
SUMMARY: November is American Diabetes Month and many Americans suffer from the disease but aren't aware of its link to oral health problems.
Posted: November 10, 2012
November is American Diabetes Month, and for the nearly 26 million Americans who are suffering from the disease they may be surprised that diabetes and gum disease are closely linked to one another. Research has shown there is a common link between the two, and it goes both ways.
Preventing gum disease is important because it can affect blood glucose levels and contribute to the progression of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. To help decrease the chances of diabetes and periodontal disease, you must begin with controlling your blood glucose levels. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels lead to more serious cases and the possibility of loss of teeth.
"Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis and gum disease," Lurelean Gaines, president-elect of health care and education for the American Diabetes Association told Drug Store News.
Gum disease is traditionally caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth and bacteria buildup in the mouth. This disease can sneak up on people and progress painlessly with a few other symptoms that many people may just brush off their shoulders. Bleeding gums, bad breath, red, swollen or tender gums, formation of deep pockets between teeth and gums and receding gums are all signs of gum disease. Individuals that experience constant bad breath should take note because this is often a sign of some sort of mouth disease or issue.
Stop kissing your pooch
Recent research has found that giving your pooch some love may lead to gum disease. A pup’s mouth is filled with bacteria that can cause harm to a human’s mouth, according to the NY Daily News. Dr. Ann Hohenhaus at the Animal Medical Center in Manhattan said that the common myth that dogs’ mouths are cleaner than humans isn’t true.
Preventing gum disease and other oral health issues can be halted with brushing teeth for two minutes, twice a day with an all-natural toothpaste. Flossing and using an alcohol free mouthwash every day can help prevent bacteria buildup as well.