NEW YORK In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, Colgate Total is offering consumers tips to build good oral hygiene habits.
Citing a statistic from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which noted the increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, the toothpaste brand has made the following recommendations to consumers:
- Control your glucose levels. If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease than people with properly controlled glucose levels;
- Floss at least once a day. Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gum line;
- Brush at least twice a day and use an antibacterial toothpaste. This is proven to reduce the germs that can lead to gum disease;
- Schedule regular dental cleanings. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings, and remind your dentist that you have diabetes — oral care should be a part of your overall diabetes management care to ensure that serious gum disease isn’t causing your blood sugar to rise, making diabetes harder to control; and
- Look for early signs of gum disease. Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling and bleeding gums — to your dentist.
"Overall, there is low awareness among the diabetes community about the association between oral health and the short- and long-term implications it may have on a successful, comprehensive diabetes management plan," said Maria Emanuel Ryan, a professor of oral biology and pathology at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. "One of the many complications of diabetes is a greater risk for periodontal disease. Poor control of diabetes can cause various adverse effects in the mouth, such as salivary gland dysfunction, dental caries and oral infections. If you have oral infection and inflammation, it’s much more difficult to control blood glucose levels. Intensive periodontitis treatment significantly reduces levels of A1C, a measure of glucose control over the prior two to three months."
For more information about the link between oral health and diabetes, please visit OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.