November is Diabetes Awareness Month
According to the American Diabetes Association, 29.1 million Americans had diabetes as of 2012 and 86 million were pre-diabetic. Of those, 11.8 million were seniors aged 65 and over. This increasingly common condition results from your body not producing enough insulin to convert sugars in your diet into fuel for your body. When unconverted sugars build up in your bloodstream, complications such as skin problems, kidney failure, vision disorders, neuropathy and improper circulation occur.
So what does this have to do with your periodontal health? A lot! Research has proven a direct connection between diabetes and gum disease. Diabetics are more likely to have serious periodontal issues at a much younger age than the general population. The disease causes patients to be at a higher risk for infection as well as take longer to heal than those who are not diabetic. This combination leaves your mouth vulnerable to periodontitis and, if left untreated, tooth loss.
If you are a diabetic patient, your best defense against this happening is practicing a good home care routine and having regular check ups with professional cleanings. This not only helps keep the bacteria in your mouth under control, but also gives us a chance to catch gum disease early—before it causes significant damage to your teeth and gums.
Many people are pre-diabetic or diabetic without even knowing it. If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms, schedule an appointment with your regular physician immediately:
• Blurred vision
• Unexplained weight loss, especially if you are eating more
• Frequent urination
• Feeling hungry/thirsty constantly even though you are eating and drinking
• Feeling excessively fatigued
• You have cuts and bruises that don’t heal or heal very slowly
If one part of your body isn’t working properly, it can affect everything else. We are here to take care of your teeth and gums so that you can work on healing the rest of your body. By working with your regular doctor, we can help prevent diabetes complications from causing permanent damage to your smile. Call to schedule your oral health evaluation today.