Can brushing teeth more reduce diabetes risk? What expert says
Do you brush your teeth twice a day? You may be reducing your risk of diabetes. Here's how.
A recent research found that people who brush their teeth three times a day have reduced risk of type 2 diabetes and those who have dental diseases or missing teeth may have a higher risk of developing the metabolic disorder. While more research needs to be done to find out more about the connection of poor dental health and diabetes, people who already suffer from the disease are more likely to suffer from dental issues than those who are not. The metabolic disorder can affect our oral health in several ways. (Also read: Is it safe for people with diabetes to drink milk? Expert answers)
CAN DENTAL DISEASES CAUSE DIABETES
"Gum disease, also known as periodontitis, is caused by bacterial infection of the gums and bones that support the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to tooth loss and other complications. Individuals with gum disease have higher levels of inflammatory markers in their blood, which can impair insulin sensitivity and contribute to higher blood sugar level," says Dr Sacheev Nanda Chief Dental Surgeon at Ruby Hall Clinic.
"More research and further studies are needed to check if poor oral health may lead to diabetes. Although a few studies have mentioned that individuals with gum disease are more likely to develop diabetes probably because of neglect not only of dental health but general health too. Also, those with diabetes are more prone to dental problems," says Dr Nanda.
HOW DIABETES CAN CAUSE TOOTH LOSS, DENTAL TROUBLE
Diabetes can affect the salivary glands in the mouth which results in production of less saliva - a fluid that prevents tooth decay and prevent bacteria growth. Besides high glucose levels in saliva could also wreak havoc with dental health.
"Individuals with diabetes have a weakened immune system, making them more susceptible to infections, including gum disease. High blood sugar levels can also lead to dry mouth, which increases the risk of cavities, oral infections, and gum disease," says Dr Nanda.
To prevent dental problems, it is crucial to practice good oral hygiene, including brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and seeing a dentist regularly.
"Additionally, managing blood sugar levels through a healthy diet, exercise, and medication can also help prevent or manage diabetes and its associated oral health problems. Poor oral health and diabetes are closely related, and taking care of one's oral health can contribute to overall health and well-being," concludes the expert.