Why your den­tist needs to know if you have di­a­betes

Oral health pro­fes­sion­als can help with a num­ber of crit­i­cal is­sues, such as BGL med­i­ca­tion, writes Pro­fes­sor Mark Bar­told

Diabetic Living - - Contents -

When you think about health pro­fes­sion­als who can help man­age chronic dis­eases, your den­tist is prob­a­bly not high on the list. How­ever, if you look at di­a­betes as an ex­am­ple, ev­i­dence in­di­cates that your oral health pro­fes­sional should be an im­por­tant player on your health-care team, and not just to look af­ter your mouth.

In fact, an oral health pro­fes­sional can of­ten help peo­ple with di­a­betes im­prove their long-term gen­eral health out­comes, in­clud­ing man­ag­ing their blood glu­cose lev­els.

The preva­lence of di­a­betes in Aus­tralia is of sig­nif­i­cant con­cern. 1.7 mil­lion Aus­tralians have di­a­betes, with more than 100,000 de­vel­op­ing the dis­ease in the past year alone. While in it­self, man­ag­ing di­a­betes is a never-end­ing jug­gling act, man­ag­ing the risk of the many health is­sues as­so­ci­ated with di­a­betes can be­come over­whelm­ing. Th­ese in­clude (but are not lim­ited to) car­dio­vas­cu­lar dis­ease, nerve and kid­ney dam­age, skin con­di­tions, and oral health is­sues.

There are a num­ber of oral health is­sues that can im­pact peo­ple with di­a­betes. Th­ese in­clude gum dis­ease, gum ab­scesses (in­fec­tion of the gums), dry mouth, tooth de­cay and mouth ul­cers, to name a few. Let’s look at why peo­ple with di­a­betes are more prone to de­vel­op­ing th­ese is­sues. Po­ten­tial rea­sons why peo­ple with di­a­betes are prone to spe­cific oral health is­sues can in­clude the use of cer­tain med­i­ca­tions and the fact that foods and bev­er­ages used to treat hy­pos (hy­po­gly­caemia – when a per­son’s blood glu­cose level drops too low) are high in sugar and can lead to tooth de­cay. How­ever, per­haps the main cul­prit is poorly man­aged blood glu­cose lev­els.

Poor glu­cose con­trol can re­sult in dam­age to blood ves­sels, mak­ing in­fec­tions of the soft tis­sue (gum) and bone that sup­ports the teeth more likely. When blood glu­cose lev­els are not well-man­aged there is height­ened risk of in­fec­tions. Other oral health is­sues like dry mouth can also oc­cur when blood glu­cose lev­els are el­e­vated.

We know that di­a­betic man­age­ment and oral health man­age­ment is a two-way street. Poorly con­trolled di­a­betes can af­fect the mouth, but you might be sur­prised by the de­gree to which poorly man­aged oral health is­sues can neg­a­tively im­pact di­a­betic con­trol.

Ev­i­dence is now in­di­cat­ing that se­vere pe­ri­odon­tal dis­ease (pe­ri­odon­tal refers to struc­tures around the teeth in­clud­ing gums, lig­a­ments and bone) can ac­tu­ally in­crease blood glu­cose lev­els. Ev­i­dence also leads

Ad­vi­sory Panel The Oral Healthof in­de­pen­dent (OHAP), is a groupwith the pro­fes­sion­als health­careaware­ness of the aim of rais­ingoral health and good im­por­tance of well­ness. its im­pact on gen­eralto take oral The panel aimsthe health be­yondden­tal clinic.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.