November is National Diabetes Month. While there isn’t much to celebrate about diabetes, there is plenty of awareness to be raised, and this month, health professionals across the country are focusing their efforts on doing just that. The majority of discussions regarding diabetes awareness may focus on the various health conditions and complications associated with diabetes, but not many health professionals discuss the importance of proper oral health care in the midst of the disease. To help bring attention to the serious risks involved in poor oral hygiene, Lafayette dentist Dr. Michael Young explains why diabetics should pay extra attention to their oral health.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects your body’s ability to properly process sugar in your blood. Insulin, a naturally-occurring hormone whose purpose is to regulate blood sugar, garners special attention in diabetic cases. Most patients either have too little insulin, are resistant to insulin, or both. Irregular blood sugar can also help bacteria multiply and flourish, increasing your risk of developing serious oral health issues such as gum disease.
The Prevalence of Gum Disease
In America, over 70% of adults over the age of 60 have some form of periodontal (gum) disease. Despite its wide-spread occurrence, periodontal disease is not contagious. It does, however, form rather easily in the midst of poor or inadequate oral hygiene. When oral bacteria collect, they form dental plaque to protect them and adhere to your oral surfaces. As plaque accumulates on your gumline, the bacteria release toxins that irritate your gums and cause them to pull away from your teeth, creating pockets for plaque and bacteria to gather and continue their destruction. Diabetes lowers your body’s ability to fight infections and invading microorganisms, making periodontal disease development more likely and proper oral health care more important.
Don’t Hesitate to Help
Maintaining a clean and healthy mouth becomes ever-more important as new studies continue to reveal the oral-systemic connection, which links your oral health to your physical wellbeing. Help make National Diabetes Month a success by sharing the importance of proper oral health among diabetics. you live in the 70508 area and would like to learn more, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with Dr. Young, call our Lafayette dentist office at (337) 237-6453.