Earlier this week, folks observed World Diabetes Day in response to growing concerns about the global epidemic. A joint project of the International Diabetes Federation and World Health Organization, the annual campaign reaches a billion people in 160 countries around the world.
But despite casting such a wide net, half of all people with diabetes will stay undiagnosed. Considering that more than 370 million have the condition, that’s more than a few in the dark about their health. And those numbers are only expected to grow.
What you may not know is that the mouth suffers right along with the rest of the body when it comes to diabetes. As a 2012 study in the Journal of Pharmacy & BioAllied Sciences puts it,
Diabetes is a systemic disease which is a serious oral co-morbidity. Most oral complications occur in uncontrolled diabetics, involving the periodontium, the calcified tissue, and the oral mucosa. Therefore, poor metabolic control, periodontal disease, dental caries, xerostomia (dry mouth), and fungal infections go hand in hand.
The good news? Treating your gum disease may actually lower your blood sugar levels and keep diabetes in check.
Another great video for getting to know more about the link between your mouth and diabetes is Dr. Evie Lalla’s “Unscrambling the Periodontitis-Diabetes Connection.” Though her talk is geared toward doctors, don’t let that scare you. It’s valuable information. It’s also likely to spark questions you can ask your dentist or doctor.
We see education as a vital component of good oral health. It provides a foundation of understanding – the first step toward action. Good oral practices can prevent or control inflammation, helping you return to your desired state of health.
Image by AJC1