Wednesday, 20 November 2013 00:00
Ottawa, ON - As Canadians mark Diabetes Awareness Month this November, dental hygienists remind us that oral health professionals are important members of the diabetes health care team.
Research from the Canadian Diabetes Association shows that people with diabetes are particularly susceptible to oral health problems because of a lowered resistance to infection and exaggerated inflammatory responses. In fact, people living with diabetes are twice as likely as those without diabetes to develop gingivitis. Left untreated, gingivitis can lead to periodontal disease. Even more unsettling is that, if someone has diabetes and periodontal disease, controlling blood sugar levels becomes increasingly difficult, which could lead to more serious systemic complications such as blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, and even amputation of extremities.