familyThe U. S. centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 26 million Americans suffer from diabetes.  Even more troubling, another 57 million – about a fourth of  U. S. adults – have pre-diabetes.  this means their blood sugar levels are higher than normal, but not yet high enough for them to be classified as diabetic. 

According to the American Diabetes Association, controlling blood sugar levels is key to preventing many serious complications of diabetes such as heart disease, kidney disease and stroke.  Research also suggests a two-way relationship between serious periodontal(gum) disease and diabetes.  Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to sever gum disease, but gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.  People with diabetes tend to develop periodontal disease earlier in life – and it’s typically more severe.

Dentist visits are crucial, because oral diseases such as tooth decay and gum disease are often reversible if they are diagnosed early and preventive treatments are delivered.  Dentists will also check for other common mouth conditions that afflict people with diabetes such as dry mouth, ulcers, and infections.  Mouth conditions may also be a sign that other medial conditions exist elsewhere in the body.  Depending on their findings, the dentist might advise patients to seek medical attention.