A new study by Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine shows that periodontal or gum disease is an early indication of diabetes.
Most people don’t think of their dentist when it comes to health problems that are not found in one’s mouth. But a dentist can actually be the first line of defense in reducing the risk for many of the most deadly diseases.
Aside from HbA1c testing, a trip to the dentist may be one of the easiest ways for individuals to find out if they have type 2 diabetes.
The diabetes epidemic is continuing to grow at a rapid rate. While early diagnosis can help individuals resolve the condition quickly, few people are given this early warning. However, many of the earliest symptoms may be apparent to dentists.
Dental care is especially important for people with diabetes because hyperglycemia complicates control of periodontal disease. If you are a diabetic, poor oral hygiene can cause the blood sugar to rise, resulting in the need for more insulin. For the millions of people with diabetes that has not yet been diagnosed, bleeding gums and other markers of periodontal disease can be symptoms of their diabetes and lead to diagnosis and treatment.
So if your gums are unhealthy, this may be a sign of diabetes or something totally disconnected from your oral health.
The study has revealed that diabetes increases the risk for cavities, tooth loss and even oral infections.
Most people don’t believe there is anything alarming when they brush their teeth and their gums bleed, but if you washed your hands and they started to bleed, you would be alarmed, right? Symptoms of periodontal disease, such as red gums, bleeding gums or bad breath, a visit to your dentist is a must.
By: Dr. Ladan Zinati