As educated as we have become about understanding the importance of taking care of our teeth, I find so many people really don’t know why a healthy mouth is important to a healthy body, especially for diabetics. I know my brothers, both dentists, drill the importance of regular checkups and good homecare into their patients. Yet, so many patients will nod that they understand what the doctors are saying, and then they will walk out the door and forget everything they just agreed too. You’ve heard me talk a lot about denial. This is just another version of denial.
Let’s put down in black and white. When you do not take care of your teeth, and if you are diabetic, you are basically asking the fates to make you sick. Gum disease is very serious. Not only does it contribute to bone loss, which leads to loss of teeth, gum disease is infection. Disease. Infection. Disease. Infection.
Diabetics know that a simple cold can make blood sugars rise. Gum disease and infection can lead to blood sugars that are out of control. Uncontrollable blood sugars can lead to blindness, diabetic sores, loss of limbs, kidney failure, heart attacks, and strokes. This is serious business.
Diabetics should see their dentist every three months for a cleaning. Keeping a healthy mouth will lead to a healthy body. Most insurance plans cover two cleanings per year unless they have a clause for medical reasons or pregnancy that allows for frequent treatment. Even if insurance doesn’t cover extra cleanings, then pay for it. The extra money spent could potentially save your life.
Keep in mind the plaque on our teeth is the same plaque that clogs arteries which leads to heart disease and strokes. The mouth is very vacuous and, therefore, an unclean mouth can spread the infection into the body and throughout our blood stream easily and quickly.
As for diabetics, cigarettes shrink your veins and exasperate your blood sugars. It almost goes without saying that alcohol is equivalent to liquid sugar which does not induce diabetic health. And, very importantly, gum disease causes more low birth weight babies than alcohol and cigarettes combined. Did I just hear you say, “Wow!”?
Next time your dentist tells you that you have gum or periodontal disease, listen. If you had an infection festering on your arm or your leg or in your appendix, you wouldn’t ignore the infection. We are responsible for our health. Not our doctors and dentists. Us. So, if you’re overdue to see your dentist, make an appointment right away. Don’t put it off.
Until we meet again, this is Linda Misleh Wagner, Future Former Fatty.
Tagged Diabetes Nutrition