Patients with Diabetes Should Watch Their Mouths, Gum Disease Could Wreck That Smile
Uncontrolled diabetes could lead to inflamed gums
“Oral health and overall health are related, so part of my role as a dentist is to flag signs of poor oral health that might also signal other serious health conditions,” said Alice G. Boghosian, D.D.S., a consumer advisor for the ADA who practices in Illinois. “Severely inflamed gums, coupled with a patient’s medical history, can be cause for concern.”
Patients with diabetes have a lower resistance to infection. That, along with a longer healing process, makes them more susceptible to developing gum disease and developing a more severe form of the disease.
A recent study in “The Journal of the American Dental Association” found that one in five cases of total tooth loss in the United States can be linked to diabetes. A dentist can be a valuable member of a patient’s diabetes health care team to help check for the signs of gum disease and provide tips on how to keep patients mouth healthy.
Regardless of your health status, the ADA recommends everyone practice good oral health habits by brushing twice a day for two minutes with fluoride toothpaste, flossing daily, eating a healthy diet and visiting your dentist regularly.
For more information on diabetes and oral health, please visit mouthhealthy.org
Editor’s Note: Reporters are invited to follow the ADA on Twitter @AmerDentalAssn
About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation's largest dental association, representing 157,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public's health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA's state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer dental care products. The monthly The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) is the ADA's flagship publication and the best-read scientific journal in dentistry. For more information about the ADA, visit www.ada.org. For more information on oral health, including prevention, care and treatment of dental disease, visit the ADA’s consumer website www.MouthHealthy.org.