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November is Diabetes Awareness Month.

Posted Nov 06 2008 2:21pm
The Mayo Clinic says, “Periodontitis tends to be more severe among people who have diabetes because diabetes lowers the ability to resist infection and slows healing. An infection such as periodontitis may also cause your blood sugar level to rise, which makes your diabetes more difficult to control.”

Approximately 57 million Americans who have pre-diabetes do not know that diabetes makes them more susceptible to periodontal disease and tooth loss. Most of them don’t even know that they have pre-diabetes.

Average Americans over 45 are at risk for diabetes if they are overweight, inactive, genetically predisposed, or numerically predisposed. Millions of people who know they have diabetes don’t know the following facts about the relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes:

1. Diabetes is a risk factor for periodontal disease (gum disease).
2. People with diabetes have a higher risk for developing infections, including periodontal disease.
3. Chronic periodontal disease can disrupt the control of diabetes.
4. People with Type II diabetes are three (3) times as likely to develop periodontal disease as those who do not have diabetes.
5. Smokers with diabetes increase their risk of tooth loss by 20 times.

“Recent research indicates that diabetics have an abnormally high risk for periodontal disease and tooth loss. Diabetes is associated with a higher than normal degree of gum inflammation. Treating periodontal disease and reducing bacteria in the body are important in managing diabetes and saving your teeth.” (See my article “Your Dentist Can Diagnose Diabetes” in my blog, 9/17/07. Scroll down to Labels and click on diabetes.)

This is a great time to make your dental appointment. For more information on diabetes, please go to the American Diabetes Association at

Keep smiling.

Saundra Goodman
Got Teeth?A Survivor’s Guide
How to keep your teeth or live without them. for your Free Tips.
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