Did you know that nearly 30 million people in the United States have diabetes? That’s just over 9% of our country’s population, and roughly 8 million of those people don’t even know they have diabetes. Since earlier this week our Smarter Smiles was all about sugar, this time HomeTown Dental is talking about one of the most closely related subjects in unhealthy sugar intake levels – diabetes.
Types of Diabetes
As most may know, there are two types of diabetes. However, most people don’t know what the distinction is between the two.
- Type I Diabetes: The body doesn’t make enough insulin, a hormone in your body that carries sugar from your blood to the cells that need it for energy.
- Type II Diabetes: The body stops responding to insulin.
Regardless of the type of diabetes you or your loved one develops, both can result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause serious issues with your eyes, nerves, kidney, heart and obviously your mouth.
Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
Last year HomeTown Dental discussed how diabetes can impact your dental health, which is great to know if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes, but if you’ve yet to be diagnosed, then you should be on the lookout for these symptoms.
- With a decreased production of saliva, you’ll likely have chronic dry mouth
- Without saliva to protect them, you’ll likely develop cavities easier than others
- Your gums may become inflamed and bleed, but there are multiple causes for bleeding gums
- You may have trouble tasting foods, or they won’t taste the same as they used to
While Type I diabetes is technically classified as an autoimmune disease, a majority of Type II diabetic cases could have been prevented by simply following the guidelines given by the patient’s doctor and dentist. If you are diagnosed with Type I diabetes, or have a family history of diabetes, then we’d recommend these tips to minimize the impact sugar can have on your overall and dental health.
If you or one of your family members have diabetes, it’s imperative that you maintain a proper oral hygiene routine, including visiting your trusted dentist at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and checkup.
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