Since this month is American Diabetes Month, let’s learn more about a disease that affects nearly 26 million Americans today. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every 17 seconds a person is diagnosed with diabetes. With about 33.8 percent of the American adult population suffering from obesity, it is only natural that the rate of diabetes would also rise.
What is diabetes?
Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body does not produce or use insulin to regulate glucose that’s in your blood. Glucose is the main source of energy for your body.
People with type 1 diabetes are either unable to produce insulin or they produce very little. People with type 2 diabetes either produce very little insulin or are unable to use it. In both cases, blood glucose is unregulated. Insulin injections allow the body to metabolize glucose.
How does oral health relate to diabetes?
Any inflammatory disease will increase blood glucose levels. Gum disease is an inflammatory condition, so it has this effect, and thus causes complications for diabetics. One study shows that people with gum disease are more prone to develop periodontitis, as well. So, the relationship between gum disease and diabetes is a two-way street.
Diabetics can reduce the risk for diabetes complications by taking preventive measures against gum disease. Brush twice and floss once daily; visit Dr. DeFinnis for checkups and cleanings every six months; and use antibacterial mouthwash once a day. Smoking tobacco also increases the risk for gum disease, so diabetics should not smoke.
For more information about gum disease and how it affects your health, make an appointment with Dr. DeFinnis at Wynnewood Dental Arts in Wynnewood, PA today. Call 610-228-4452 or visit us at our website www.wynnewooddentalarts.com.