I want to introduce a new resource that we have created. It’s a booklet called Dentistry for Diabetics. I wrote this because we all know someone, be it a friend or family member, who has diabetes. In fact, it’s estimated in Canada that nearly 10% of the population has diabetes. The prevalence is estimated to increase by 44% from 2015 to 2025. One point about diabetes that’s not well known is that most people with diabetes have gum disease. Unfortunately, many people know about diabetes, but not many people know about the destructive progression of gum disease. In fact, there’s a direct link between diabetes and gum disease. If you have diabetes it makes your chances of having gum disease significantly higher, and if you have gum disease as a diabetic it makes it very difficult to get rid of the gum disease. Conversely, while you have gum disease it also makes your diabetic control more difficult, because as most people with diabetes know, any infections including those of the mouth, (and that’s what gum disease is, it’s an infection of the gum tissue) are much harder to get rid of.
If you know someone with diabetes, or you yourself have diabetes, the next time you’re in our office go ahead and pick up a copy of our Dentistry for Diabetics booklet and pass it along. Our goal is to educate people about the oral implications of diabetes and how you can make it easier on yourself to control your sugar, and also prevent one of the long-term complications that people don’t often talk about, which is the destructive progression of gum disease if you have diabetes. Because diabetes makes it so difficult to control blood sugars, and because diabetes makes it so difficult to control infection and to heal normally, gum diseases often progresses very quickly in diabetic patients. Gum disease also really doesn’t have any obvious signs and symptoms besides bleeding gums when your brush or floss. It’s virtually painless until the later stages. In the later stages, you’re dealing with multiple abscesses and eventual tooth loss. All of that is entirely preventable.
So if you’d like a concise summary of the inter-relation of diabetes and gum disease, go ahead and grab a copy of our Dentistry for Diabetics booklet. Feel free to discuss further with your dentist or hygienist the next time you’re in the office. Of course, individual needs vary, but the number one step for everyone is regular dental care and excellent daily oral care routine. That would be visiting your dentist and hygienist for diabetics at least every four months, brushing twice a day, flossing daily, monitoring diet, which you should be doing with diabetes anyway, and being vigilant about the signs and symptoms of gum disease, should any appear.
To Your Dental Health.