Oral Hygiene & Blood Glucose Levels

Good Oral Hygiene Helps Keep Your Blood Glucose in Check

If you are a bit lax when it comes to maintaining good oral hygiene and already have type 2 diabetes, you could be worsening the symptoms. A new study, published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology, reports that good dental hygiene is crucial when it comes to managing blood glucose levels.

According to a report released by the CDC in July 2017, an estimated 30.3 million Americans are living with diabetes. Over 84 million more have ‘prediabetes,’ a condition that could lead to type 2 diabetes within five years if left untreated.

What is Type 2 Diabetes?

It is by far the most common form of the condition; only 5-10% of Americans with diabetes have the type 1 variety. Type 2 diabetes occurs when the human body’s cells cease responding to insulin; this is a hormone produced in the pancreas which regulates your blood glucose levels. The process is called ‘insulin resistance,’ and it causes excessively high levels of blood glucose.

Previously, medical researchers have discovered a mutual link between gum disease (periodontitis) and type 2 diabetes. If you have type 2 diabetes, you’re more likely to have gum disease, and vice versa.

In other words, if you have type 2 diabetes and are not taking care of your teeth with regular brushing and flossing, you are opening the door to gum disease which could have grave repercussions. Failure to properly manage your blood glucose levels could lead to the following medical conditions:

  • Nerve damage
  • Glaucoma
  • Cataracts
  • Skin conditions

If you have diabetes, it is crucial that you pay special attention to your oral hygiene because you’re already at high risk for oral health problems such as gingivitis and periodontitis. As well as brushing twice a day and flossing regularly, you could schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible if you haven’t visited lately.

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