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Good oral hygiene essential for diabetics

Maintaining good oral health is important, especially if you have diabetes.

Each year, some 1.6 million new cases of diabetes are diagnosed and the condition affects 23.6 million U.S. children and adults.
Because common oral health problems—periodontal (gum) disease and thrush (oral candidiasis)—are associated with diabetes, diligent oral health care is essential.

The American Dental Association recommends regular dental check-ups, periodontal screenings and treating dental problems in the early stages. If you already know you have diabetes, tell your dentist how long you’ve had it, if it’s under control, if there are any other changes in your medical history and mention all of the prescription and over-the-counter drugs you are taking.

Diabetes reduces the body’s resistance to infection, leaving your gums vulnerable. With severe periodontal disease, the infection and inflammation causes destruction of the tissue and bone supporting the teeth. This can lead to tooth loss. Periodontal disease is often more frequent and more severe in people with diabetes, especially if they smoke. That’s why it’s essential for diabetics to maintain their oral health.

For more information about diabetes and oral health, visit “www.ada.org”.

©2010 American Dental Association. All rights reserved. Reproduction or republication is strictly prohibited without the prior written permission from the American Dental Association.

11/03/2010

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