Half of all adults in the U.S. have or will develop diabetes, reports the findings of a new study.
As the population in the U.S. has gotten older and heavier, the number of individuals struggling to control their blood sugar levels has sky rocketed.
Just 20 years ago, roughly one in 10 U.S. adults suffered from diabetes. Now that number has jumped to one in seven or eight, approximately 12 to 14 percent of the population.
Another 38 percent of the U.S. population suffers from blood sugar levels high enough to place them on the brink of receiving a diabetes diagnosis, a condition doctors refer to as prediabetes.
At Beadnell Family Dental, patients of Portland dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell should know about the connection researchers have found that link diabetes and gum disease. In recent years, a growing amount of research has found an almost symbiotic relationship between how the two diseases react to each other.
Link Between Diabetes and Gum Disease
In recent years, new research has found compelling links between gum disease and diabetes.
Individuals who suffer from diabetes have a hard time controlling their blood sugar levels. An inability to regulate their blood sugar places individuals with diabetes at a higher risk of infections, such as gum disease.
Conversely, individuals suffering from gum disease have a harder time controlling blood sugar levels in the body. As you can see from this relationship, both diseases help to exacerbate the other, making it much more likely that if you suffer from one disease you’ll eventually develop the other.
In fact, gum disease is so commonly associated with diabetes that gingivitis – an early form of gum disease – is considered an early warning sign for diabetes.
Protecting Your Oral Health
To lower your risk of both diabetes and gum disease, it’s important that patients of Portland dentist Dr. Melissa Beadnell take care of their oral health by practicing quality oral hygiene everyday.
The American Dental Association recommends brushing twice a day and flossing daily as the best ways of preventing the effects of tooth decay that can lead to the development of gum disease. The ADA also recommends scheduling regular cleanings and checkups offered by Beadnell Family Dentistry. Exams and cleanings provide Dr. Beadnell the opportunity to spot the signs of gum disease and decay early on while the conditions are still easily treatable.
Early detection also allows Dr. Beadnell the chance to recommend diabetes screenings to patients viewed as at risk of the disease. The earlier a patient receives a diabetes diagnosis, the better able he or she will be at learning how to control their disease before the condition can advance to a more serious stage.
If you have any questions bout the link between your oral health and diabetes, please feel free to ask Dr. Beadnell during your next appointment.