Many people have the misconception that taking care of your oral health only affects your teeth. Unfortunately, our bodies work as a system, and poor oral health inevitably leads to poor overall health.
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.
The good news? The study also found that taking care of your teeth and gums can slow down the progression of the disease and in some cases, prevent it all together.
According to the American Diabetes Association, over 88 million Americans have pre-diabetes, a condition diagnosed prior to Type 2 diabetes. And what’s true for the rest of America is true for Arizona. Over 37% of the adult population in Arizona has pre-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 an 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 will 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!