National Diabetes Month: Oral Health Risks Associated With Diabetes
Millions of Americans live with diabetes, which impacts both overall health and oral health. If you’re living with diabetes, knowing how it can impact oral health and what you can do about it will help you better protect your teeth and gums.
However, you can take steps to lessen your risk of developing gum disease, or to help control gum disease if you already have it.
Practice Healthy Habits Daily
Cutting back on sugars and starches will help control your diabetes and benefit your oral health. Sugary foods help create an environment in your mouth that encourages the growth of the bacteria that cause gum disease. Choosing a healthy, balanced diet will make it harder for these bacteria to grow, and help keep your diabetes in check.
If you’re not already brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily, get serious about practicing good oral health habits. Brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash all help remove plaque and the harmful bacteria that cause gum disease.
Diabetics who receive additional dental cleanings are often healthier and better able to control their blood glucose levels. A one-point reduction in blood glucose levels can lower the risk of complications affecting the eyes, kidneys and nervous system by as much as 40 percent. In addition, a one-point reduction lowers the risk of a heart attack by 14 percent and reduces the number of deaths caused by diabetes by 21 percent.
Let your dentist know that you have diabetes and any medications you may be taking so they can best address your needs.
* All TruAssure dental plans, other than Basic and Preferred dental plans, are offered in association with the DenteMax Plus dental network arrangement, which includes participating dentists from the DenteMax, United Concordia and Connection dental networks. TruAssure Basic and Preferred dental plans for both group and individual members are offered in association with the DenteMax dental network.
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