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Watch your Weight

By Jill Feilmeier on January 15, 2013 in Healthy Living

Couple walking on a bridge

As food gets “faster” and waistlines get wider, the risk for type 2 diabetes continues to grow. In 2010 alone, more than 1.9 million adults aged 20 and older were diagnosed with this disease1. That number doesn't include the 7 million people who went undiagnosed during the same time period1.

With these shocking statistics, it's no wonder dentists around the country are encouraging their patients to stay within a healthy weight range. Weight maintenance is a safe and healthy way to reduce your risk of a diabetes diagnosis.

Dentists you ask? Why are dentists encouraging weight maintenance? It's shocking how many people don't know that being diagnosed with diabetes can have serious effects on your teeth. Those who have been diagnosed with diabetes are at a greater risk for mouth infections and periodontal disease (also known as gum disease).

Diabetes can cause dry mouth and fungal infections which only make an unhealthy mouth even more risky. Periodontal disease is very serious and can lead to damage of your gums and bones that hold your teeth in place.

People who suffer from advanced periodontal disease suffer from painful chewing and may even lose some teeth. Conversely, periodontal disease makes it difficult to control blood glucose. Dry mouth may cause the glucose levels in your saliva to increase.

The scary reality is that diabetes and periodontal disease work together to create a vicious cycle for both your oral and overall health. If you are diabetic, help control your blood glucose levels by brushing twice a day and flossing daily. Keeping up with routine visits to the dentist will drastically reduce your risk of developing mouth infections.

If you are not diabetic, eating healthy and exercising is a good way to potentially avoid devastating problems.