23 Oct Diabetes and your oral health
A couple of friends have been admitted to hospital not long ago, one of them has already been in for the last 4 weeks and the second one for about 2 weeks. They were admitted due to foot ulcerations that were not healing.
They did not know they have Diabetes. How late is it for them ?, it is to be found out. Both of them are in their early 50’s.Type 2 Diabetes has long been considered a condition of older age, yet younger people are diagnosed with this condition.
Treatment of Type 2 Diabetes is based on diet, weight management and medication. Unfortunately Diabetes is a progressive disease that ultimately would require Insulin Therapy. One of the side effects of Insulin is precisely weight gain.
We also should consider that there are about 1.7 million of people in Australia diagnosed with Diabetes.
In comparison in USA there are about 29.1 million diagnosed and about 8.1 million that are predicted to be undiagnosed (USA population approx. 320 million). The statistics in Australia might not be that far.
So far only diet and exercise, in other words a balanced lifestyle can to some extent prevent Diabetes.
Having said all of the above, we need to add one of the main complications of Diabetes, which is the healing of any kind of ulcerations. In the mouth we find this in the form of periodontal or gum disease.
We know that the treatment of Gum disease is based on a professional cleaning and a high level of maintenance by the patient. The Diabetic patient needs to have an even better level of Oral Hygiene, which translates in a more disciplined lifestyle. Otherwise, the risk in term of oral health is the loss of teeth.
Periodontal or gum disease affects over 35% of the people up to 64 years and over 54% of those over 65. The main cause of tooth loss after 30 is gum disease and due to the increasing number of younger people affected by gum disease; this statistics are only going to be worse.
Not only that, we know that gum disease affects your general being, particularly your cardiovascular system , so there is a compound effect, in which the health of your oral tissues are interconnected with the management of the Diabetes and the condition of the vascular system ( included the heart).
I was diagnosed with type 2 Diabetes, and would never imagine the implications of living with this condition until the Diagnoses arrived whilst overseas. It demanded a change in lifestyle and it is a lot harder than anyone might think. Taking in consideration that no diet or exercise plan fits everyone and not everybody reacts the same or suffers the same level of deterioration.
We can only do our best and it takes a lot of courage to say no to the things that we might like and say yes to the ones we might not like. However, at least we know of our condition and we have the chance to adjust our lives, otherwise we might find ourselves with a foot ulceration requiring hospitalization and regretting that we didn’t do our best.
Until the next month