Diabetes and your dental health

UK Charity- Oral Health Foundation new report

The Oral Health Foundation has released a new report, May 2016, claiming statistically significant association between looking after gum health and reduced healthcare costs among people newly diagnosed with diabetes.
The study found that analysing date from more than 15,000 adults aged 18-64 who were newly diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes found that those who had gum disease treated at an early stage had an average saving of almost 1500 pounds in healthcare costs over a two year period!!

Diabetes

What is diabetes?
Diabetes and gum problems (Periodontitis)
Does periodontal treatment affect the control of diabetes?
What should I do dentally if I have diabetes?

What is diabetes?
Diabetes is an endocrine disorder where the body's cells are not able to properly utilise glucose (sugar). Type 1 diabetes occurs when the body is producing no insulin. Insulin therapy is required for people with this type of diabetes. Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of diabetes and typically occurs in middle age and may be treated by dietary modification, oral hypoglycaemic agents or may require insulin in some cases.

Research published in Diabetes Care (Feb 2006) concluded that gum destruction can start very early in diabetic children and was particularly of concern in 12- to 18-year-olds.

Diabetes and gum problems (Periodontitis)
Diabetics are more susceptible to infection and when infection occurs it is more severe when compared to non-diabetics. In poorly controlled diabetics the risk of developing periodontal disease is greater.
Type 1 diabetics (insulin dependent) the longer you have diabetes and the more unstable your diabetes is the greater the amount of gum problems and the greater the amount of bone loss associated with this. This is very important because we are not yet able to replace lost bone in periodontal disease ( see. Perio)
Type 2 diabetes (mature age) ; well controlled diabetics have similar suseptiblities to periodontal disease as non diabetics. However with periodontal disease the severity of the bone and gum loss will probably be greater.

Does periodontal treatment affect the control of diabetes?
We don't know. Some studies have suggested this but they are unconvincing. Periodontal disease has been linked to coronary heart disease, stroke, preterm births and osteoporosis. Studies are being undertaken to see if eliminating periodontal disease decreases the risk of such diseases. One study looked at the risk of coronary heart disease in people with dentures (eg no periodontal disease) and people with periodontal disease and found that there was no evidence that eliminating periodontal disease decrease a person's risk of coronary heart disease (July 2001 issue of The Journal of The American Dental Association)

What should I do dentally if I have diabetes?
1. Make sure every effort is made to control your diabetes as it affects all aspects of your general health.
2. Be aware of your diet. Frequent snacking increases the risk of decay.
3. Keep your gums and teeth as healthy as possible. Inform your dentist. Use a fluoride toothpaste. Attend the dentist regularly for periodontal cleaning and monitoring so if any problem is detected it can be attended to and damage minimised.

Did you know?
A new person is diagnosed with diabetes every 10 minutes.

For more information:
www.diabetes.org.au,
www.diabetes.org.uk,
www.jdf.org,
www.diabetesaustralia.com.au

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Dr Erik Magee BDSc (Melb)
Dr Stephen Liew BDSc (Mel), FPFA, FADI, MAICD, FICD
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Dr Edward Ounapuu BDSc (Adel)
Dr Marjan Ardebili BDS (Manchester,UK), MFDS (RCS Ed)
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