People living with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease

NEW YORK, NY (November 1, 2010) – For the nearly 24 million Americans living with diabetes, many may be surprised to learn about an additional complication associated with the condition – serious gum disease. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, making proper oral health and hygiene a key factor to living well with diabetes[i].

Recent research shows that people living with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease as people without diabetes[ii]. They are at an increased risk for gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums. Emerging research also suggests that the association between serious gum disease and diabetes is a two-way relationship. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to developing gum disease, but serious gum disease also known as periodontitis can adversely affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes[iii].

“Overall, there is low awareness among the diabetes community about the association between oral health and the short and long-term implications it may have on a successful, comprehensive diabetes management plan,” said Dr. Maria Emanuel Ryan, a professor of oral biology and pathology at Stony Brook University in Stony Brook, N.Y. “One of the many complications of diabetes is a greater risk for periodontal disease. Poor control of diabetes can cause various adverse effects in the mouth, such as salivary gland dysfunction, dental caries and oral infections.  If you have oral infection and inflammation, it’s much more difficult to control blood glucose levels. Intensive periodontitis treatment significantly reduces levels of A1C, a measure of glucose control over the prior two to three months.”

Aligned with Diabetes Awareness Month, primary care providers and dental professionals across the country are educating their patients about the association between oral health and diabetes and on the importance of good oral health as a part of overall diabetes management.

Diabetes patients can combat the risk of gum disease and other oral health problems by flossing, visiting the dentist regularly and brushing daily with antibacterial toothpaste like Colgate Total®. Unlike ordinary toothpaste, Colgate Total® toothpaste reduces germs that cause gingivitis, an early form of gum disease, by 90% vs. regular fluoride toothpaste 12 hours after brushing. In addition, it is the only toothpaste approved* by the FDA to help prevent gingivitis and the #1 recommended most by dentists for gum care.

In recognition of Diabetes Awareness Month, Colgate Total® toothpaste offers the following tips for building good oral hygiene habits:

    Control your glucose levels: If your blood glucose levels are poorly controlled, you are more likely to develop serious gum disease than people without diabetes
    Floss at least once a day: Flossing helps remove plaque between your teeth and under your gum line
    Brush at least twice a day and use an antibacterial toothpaste: This is proven to reduce the germs that can lead to gum disease
    Schedule regular dental cleanings: Visit your dentist at least twice a year for professional cleanings and remind your dentist that you have diabetes – oral care should be a part of your overall diabetes management care to ensure that serious gum disease isn’t causing your blood sugar to rise, making diabetes harder to control
    Look for early signs of gum disease: Report any signs of gum disease — including redness, swelling and bleeding gums — to your dentist

Colgate Total® toothpaste is committed to promoting proper oral health practices for healthy living.  For more information about the link between oral health and diabetes, please visit www.OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.

About Periodontal Disease
Untreated gingivitis can progress to periodontitis, which is a serious infection that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support your teeth. This can eventually cause tooth loss.   People living with diabetes are prone to many infections, including gum infections. In addition, gingivitis and periodontitis impair your body's ability to utilize insulin, making diabetes harder to control. Proper oral health is an easy solution to preventing gum disease and helping to maintain better blood sugar management. Preventative oral health care measures include regular dental visits, flossing and brushing your teeth with Colgate Total® toothpaste.

About Colgate Total® Toothpaste
Colgate Total® toothpaste has an antibacterial formula clinically proven to actively fight germs for 12 hours. It is the only toothpaste both approved* by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and accepted by the American Dental Association to fight plaque and gingivitis.  Colgate Total® toothpaste is also the number one toothpaste recommended most by dentists and hygienists. It has not been approved for the prevention or treatment of serious gum disease or other diseases. For more information about Colgate Total® toothpaste, visit www.ColgateTotal.com


John Moran said…
Great Article. Diabetic patients really need to have their gums in great shape else their oral health will really be a trouble both for them and their dentist.
Michigan pediatric dentist

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