Diabetes And Dental Health
The number of people with diabetes has skyrocketed in this country over the past 3 decades, and globally it has almost doubled. A report published Monday in the British medical journal The Lancet, reported a 45 percent rise in the prevalence of diabetes worldwide from 1990 to 2013. In the US, our rates of diabetes has increased 71% over this time, leaving 1 in 3 American adults are diabetic or pre-diabetic. For more on this study, click here.
Having diabetes puts a person at a much greater risk for heart disease and periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is diagnosed when gums have become inflamed, creating deep pockets around the teeth. Pocket depths for early stages of periodontal disease are at 5 mm, where healthy tissue should allow no more than 1-3 mm pockets. At Altman Dental in Amherst, NY, we check for periodontal disease by pocket charting our patients once a year. When gums can’t hug the teeth tightly, it leaves room for bacteria and food to get trapped between the teeth and the gums, further inflaming the area. This can be a viscous cycle if proper hygiene and maintenance aren’t done on the teeth. At advanced stages, tooth loss is common, as the gums can no longer hold the teeth in place.
What can be done? Flossing & brushing at least 2x’s a day, and seeing your dentist at least 2 times a year is essential. If you have been diagnosed with periodontal disease, our hygienists at Altman Dental will recommend a hygiene cleaning every 3-4 months to help keep the teeth as clean as possible. However, work needs to be done at home too! Your hygienist may also recommend scaling and root planing, procedures that clean the teeth deeper than traditional cleaning can provide. What can you do besides hygiene maintenance? Eat a diet rich in antioxidants, consuming high amount of vegetables and fiber, complex grains like quinoa, buckwheat, wild rice, and low glycemic fruits like berries. Avoid foods that inflame the body; animal-based proteins, dairy, foods high in saturated fats, refined sugars, and processed foods. These will help both your periodontal disease and your diabetes.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, diet is key to reversing your disease. It’s also essential that you take good care of your dental health. At Altman Dental, we have a person on staff that can help you with your diet. Jessica, is a plant-based chef and writer of our food blog; www.gardenfreshfoodie.com. Her blog is devoted to plant-based recipes that help diabetics and heart disease patients. Visit her site or ask for ways to incorporate more healthy foods in your diet to help your diabetes. Also, let us know at Altman Dental if you have recently been diagnosed with diabetes. We want to make sure you are receiving proper preventative measured to ensure your dental health.