How Can Good Oral Health Help Manage Type 2 Diabetes?

A new study has highlighted the importance of oral hygiene for those who have type 2 diabetes.

This is after discovering that people with Type 2 Diabetes  may have better blood glucose levels if they look after their teeth.

Type 2 diabetes is the most common form, and it accounts for 90–95 percent of all cases.

Type 2 diabetes develops when the body’s cells stop responding to the hormone insulin. This is a process known as insulin resistance. Blood glucose levels become too high as a result.

Without effective and consistent management of blood glucose levels, threatening complications may arise. This may include nerve damage, eye problems such as glaucoma and cataracts or occasional fitting. It could also cause  a whole variety of skin conditions.

There has been a lot of research done in the past which highlights a link between type 2 diabetes and periodontitis. Periodonitis is otherwise known as gum disease. Those with type 2 diabetes are much more likely to encounter gum disease throughout their lives. This is true even for those with good oral health.

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A New Insight

Recently, a report published in The Journal of Clinical Periodontology suggested that people who have type 2 diabetes may find that good oral health could be very important for managing and controlling their blood glucose levels.

A group of research participants (all with type two diabetes) were split in to two groups. One group received oral health instructions, as well as scaling and root planing. This is a non-surgical form of “deep cleaning”. This method removes tartar and plaque from the surface of the teeth and below the gums.

The other group received oral health instructions plus supragingival removal of plaque and tartar. This means that plaque and tartar are removed from above the gum line only.

The results revealed that the group that received the deep cleaning experienced significant improvements in HbA1c blood glucose levels.

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What happens if gum disease is untreated?

If periodontitis is left untreated, teeth and gums can rot and cause severe discomfort for patients. A recent report was published in the The Journal of Clinical Periodontology. It suggests that if gum disease is monitored effectively, it will improve the blood sugar levels of type 2 diabetic patients.

If you or someone you know lives with type 2 diabetes, a good oral health routine may be the key to managing blood sugar levels.

How to help prevent gum disease?

Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste with a good, clean toothbrush – electric is preferred! Flossing every single day is important too – without flossing, you miss 35% of your teeth’s surface. Missed food and bacteria is what causes build-up of plaque on the teeth. Flossing helps to get those pesky bits your brush misses.

We recommend that those of you with type 2 diabetes visit your dentist at least twice a year. You may have to visit more frequently if you’re experiencing discomfort or pain.

Find a dentist near you

If you need to register with a dentist, you can do by visiting our website, Search your location to get started and then browse through the practices near you. Read reviews from other patients and see what treatments are on offer.