Protecting Oral Hygiene Could Prevent Diabetes

June 21, 2021
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

With 34.2 million people suffering from the disease known as diabetes, it’s safe to say this disease is a public health crisis. To put that number in perspective, it’s slightly over one in ten people, with an estimated one in three people qualifying as prediabetic. While diabetes can be caused by obesity and a poor diet, it can also be caused by a surprising cause: poor oral hygiene.

According to a recent study by Shimane University, in Izumo, Japan, not only does poor oral hygiene increase your risk of diabetes and a condition called sarcopenia, it can also increase your risk of mortality by all causes. Conversely, excellent oral hygiene is not only good for your teeth, it can also help prevent diabetes and sarcopenia (loss of muscle mass) and reduce your risk of mortality by all causes.

Why? Researchers believe the inflammation due to conditions such as periodontal disease can worsen conditions and may even help cause conditions such as diabetes. Furthermore, they believe those who are missing teeth are more likely to eat sugary foods that do not require chewing, thus spiking blood sugar and contributing to diabetes.

So, what can be done if you have poor oral health already? Don’t despair! It’s never too late to start caring for your oral health.

First, know that even if you are missing teeth, oral health is still imperative to maintain. This means brushing the gums and using mouthwash to keep the gums bacteria-free.

Next, if you are missing teeth don’t discount the importance of replacing those teeth. While dental implants are the gold standard in replacing missing teeth, they may not be in everyone’s budget, and thus may not be possible. This is where solutions like dentures come in. Dentures may not seem like they can offer much assistance, but even a temporary fix can help you chew, which will provide you access to healthier foods.

If you are missing your teeth, speak to Dr. Mingus about custom dentures. Dentures will not only help with chewing and speaking, they will help with further bone degradation caused by removing teeth from the jawbones.