Many people are aware of the connection between diabetes and oral health, but did you know that oral health complications of diabetes begin with pre-diabetes?
Almost all those diagnosed with type 2 diabetes have pre-diabetes prior to diagnosis. Symptoms of pre-diabetes are unclear; so many people who are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes don’t know they have it until it is too late.
Pre-diabetes is only one of the many systemic connections between mouth and body. Denmark researchers found that people who had gum disease – gingivitis or periodontitis – have a higher risk of developing Type 2 diabetes.
Luckily, the study also found that taking care of your teeth and gums could slow down the progression of the disease and in some cases, prevent it all together.
According to the American Diabetes Association, 70 million Americans have pre-diabetes, a condition diagnosed prior to Type 2 diabetes. People with pre-diabetes have blood glucose levels that are higher than normal, but not yet high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes.
It’s not inevitable that you will get Type 2 diabetes if you have pre-diabetes. In fact, some lifestyle changes can help you return your blood glucose levels to the normal range. Losing weight, exercising moderately and even walking just 30 minutes a day can help.
Good food choices and dental hygiene habits help too. If you have pre-diabetes, eat a balanced diet and brush and floss daily. Don’t smoke, and see your dentist regularly for checkups.
Good health starts with a healthy mouth!