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Being diagnosed with a chronic disease is difficult for anyone.  For those with Type 2 Diabetes it is no different.  Fortunately with medical advances they are continuing to learn better ways to monitor and treat diabetes and its effect on our health.  Research has uncovered links between gum disease and other parts of the body.  For instance, periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, which makes a good case in addressing gum inflammation.  More recently, researchers have discovered another potential benefit of keeping gum disease at bay. According to research, it has been found that treating periodontal disease in diabetics may lower their insulin levels.  Researchers suggest that the connection is based on bacterial infections of the mouth that cause inflammation, which results in chemical changes that reduce the effectiveness of insulin produced in the body.  As a consequence, diabetics find it more difficult to control their blood sugar.

It has been found that people with diabetes are also at a higher risk for periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gum and bone around your teeth.  When diabetes is not controlled high glucose levels in your bacteria can encourage harmful bacteria to grow and can lead to pain, infection and even decay in your mouth.  A study entitled “Effect of Long-Term Periodontal Care on Hemoglobin A1c in Type 2 Diabetes” concluded that treatment of periodontitis improved long-term glycemic control among type 2 diabetes patients.

If you have diabetes, the following are recommended steps to promote good oral health:

  • Control your blood glucose levels and consult your physician.
  • Eat healthy, nutritious meals.
  • Brush your teeth twice a day and floss once daily.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a dental exam and dental cleaning to treat periodontal conditions.
  • Check your mouth regularly for changes in your mouth, notify your dentist if you are experiencing any pain or soreness in your gums.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking makes your gum disease worse.

This is a great example of how maintaining our oral hygiene can help improve our overall health.

Be Well!

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