A recent study from the Netherlands found that when doctors took the time to intervene in diabetic patients’ oral care habits, the patients reaped the rewards. Doctors across the country were instructed to assist some patients with oral health tips and products, to see what would happen if these patients received extra attention to their oral health. Diabetes and poor oral health often go hand-in-hand, with missing teeth and periodontal disease being common among many diabetics.
The study asked the doctors to share literature, education and products with these diabetic patients, and then follow up with them regarding the state of their oral health and hygiene at a later date. While no major improvements were seen in the state of their diabetes, many patients who participated in and completed the oral health program were able to report that their oral hygiene did improve, and some were even diagnosed with problems such as periodontal disease, which they were then able to get treated.
If you suffer from diabetes, it’s important that you care for your oral health, too. Inflammation of the gums caused by missing teeth and periodontal disease can allow bacteria into your gums which can worsen your diabetes symptoms.
Diabetes is a complicated disease which can often affect many systems of the body, which is why your doctor and dentist should work hand in hand to monitor your health.
The study agrees that greater oral health care and stronger lines of communication through various doctors is important to helping patients manage their diabetes.
If you or someone you care for has diabetes, help encourage them to care for their oral health by reminding them to brush twice a day and to floss at least once per day. They should also attend regular doctors visits, and make sure Dr. Abelar knows that they are diabetic so that he can keep a closer eye on their oral health. This may include more frequent exams and cleanings.
To learn more about diabetic care for oral health, speak to your physician and to Dr. Abelar. Remember, your oral health is connected to your entire body, not just your mouth.