The aim of World Diabetes Day is to raise awareness of the challenges of living with diabetes, as well as helping people to reduce their chance of becoming diabetic.
“In the UK, nearly five million people live with diabetes. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. For the 36,000 children and young people living with type 1 diabetes, it can make childhood a painful, frightening place. Type 2 diabetes is growing rapidly. With two-thirds of us overweight, the threat of it affecting you, or someone you love is real.” (Source: Diabetes UK)
The World Health Organisation infographic below shows the increase in diabetes around the world. A staggering one person from every eleven has diabetes.
Type 2 diabetes is on the increase
In the past, type 2 diabetes was a condition that adults got. A problem that developed with age. A problem often associated with weight gain and even called “adult-onset diabetes”. Yet, in just three years the RCPCH reports a 41% rise in the number of people under 25 diagnosed with type 2 diabetes.
Diabetes is serious
Diabetes can have a severe impact, and even cause premature death. Given the serious condition diabetes is, it may seem trivial to talk about teeth. But many people who suffer from diabetes become very uncomfortable, mentally as well as physically. They suffer unnecessary pain because of the deterioration of their oral health.
As dentists, we are concerned about the general health of our patients. We’re also concerned about the effect that health problems have on the teeth and soft tissues of the mouth. People who have diabetes, especially if blood-sugar levels are not consistently maintained, are more likely to suffer dental health issues.
Oral health concerns people with diabetes are prone to include:
Here are a few tips to help prevent gum disease:
- Talk to your dentist: Your dentist needs to know if you’re taking insulin, and if your blood sugar level is variable.
- Step up your oral hygiene routine:
- Brush your teeth 30 minutes after each meal with a soft bristled brush.
- Floss daily.
- Use inter-dental brushes.
- Rinse with antiseptic mouth wash once a day.
- Drink water regularly.
- Avoid snacks between meals.
- If you wear removable dentures, take them out at night.
- Book regular appointments with your dentist, dental hygienist or therapist.
- Paying for private dental care can be more reasonable than you think.
- Consider a SpaDental payment plan (Essentials or Care). A plan spreads dental costs over the year in monthly payments.
- Help children to grow into healthy adults.