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Diabetes And Dental Health

Currently it is estimated that over 29 million people have diabetes, which translates to approximately 9.3 % of the population. Diabetes care options continue to surface; new medications, dietary advisements, improved glucose monitor technology emerge almost daily. Yet, the basic self-care advisories remain a priority.

Diabetes is a chronic medication that can be managed effectively, when treated with a team effort approach. Family members, as well as health care providers, should be guiding and supporting a person with diabetes. Lifestyle changes are much effective when the family joins in in the effort. Better eating habits, a healthier exercise regimen, proper sleep hygiene and smoking cessation are key factors in maintaining a stable blood glucose (sugar level) and overall well-being.

Another important area of comprehensive diabetes care is good dental care. In addition to a healthy diet and smoking cessation, many other diabetic related issues can affect your dental health. The normal mouth contains bacteria, which upon entering your blood stream, could cause major infections.

Untreated/poorly treated diabetes can leave your mouth and teeth with bacterial buildup, and inflamed gumlines (a condition known as periodontal disease). Those inflamed, often bleeding areas on your gumline allow bacteria to enter your bloodstream. As the condition worsens, the gumline remains inflamed/infected enough that decay and actual loss of teeth and bone density are possible.

Hence, brushing your teeth twice a day (and flossing daily) significantly lower the risk of diabetic related dental infections. If you wear dentures, it is equally important to take them out daily and clean them, to lower the risk of bacteria settling into the denture material and then your gumline. Equally important is the recommendation to see your dentist for routine dental care. In addition to actually cleaning your teeth, they can inspect your mouth for any open sores, areas of inflammation, receding gumlines, dental cavities and even early signs of oral cancer. The current recommendation is twice a year dental care visits (unless advised otherwise). Statistically, over 1 in 5 (22%) persons with diabetes has some form of periodontal disease. Make sure a dentist is part of your healthcare team and lower your risk of dental infections and more.

Diabetes and dental health are an important area of discussion in your overall health. Uncontrolled diabetes can cause gumline inflammation (infection); a (dental) infection can cause an increase in blood glucose levels. It is indeed a vicious circle if left untreated.

References:
Oral Health Topics
Diabetes and Dental Problems

Maureens Source Code Guest post by Maureen Sullivan-Tevault and  originally appeared at MaureenSullivanRN.com.

Maureen has over 30 years in Emergency and Trauma nursing, including nursing positions as the Emergency Department Manager, Director of Staff Education, Trauma Coordinator, Cardiology Nurse Navigator, and Stroke Program Manager. In addition, she has also been certified as both a BLS and ACLS instructor, and adjunct faculty for an LPN nursing program. She is a legal nurse consultant, working on personal injury, nursing negligence, and product liability cases.  Maureen has written nursing articles for the following journals: Nursing Spectrum, ADVANCE nursing magazine, and The Journal of Emergency Care, Rescue, and Transportation. She also has a monthly diabetes column in the online journal, Health Triangle Magazine.

Maureen has written multiple continuing education courses on diabetes, stroke, human trafficking, norovirus and other healthcare topics:

Diabetes: An Introduction
Diabetes Management and Insulin Pumps
Diabetes Management and Insulin Pumps for School Nurses
Diabetes: An Introduction for Administrators
Human Trafficking
Management of Norovirus Gastroenteritis in Healthcare Settings

Mangement of Norovirus Gastroenteritits in Post Acute Care Settings
OSHA Hazard Communication
Stroke Management: Advanced
Stroke: An Introduction
Stroke: An Introduction for Administrators

CBD 101: An Introductory Course

You may see all of the online continuing nurse education offered by Pedagogy by clicking View Entire Catalog.   

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Posted: 3/8/2020 2:19:05 PM
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