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Good oral health can prevent diabetes

The campaign has been launched due to the connection between oral health and diabetes. Here medical data shows that those with periodontal disease have a 20-30 percent higher risk of developing diabetes. Moreover, some 415 million people have diabetes and 750 million people have periodontal disease worldwide.

World Diabetes Day falls on November 14, although a series of associated events also run beforehand and afterwards. The day is the primary global awareness campaign focusing on diabetes mellitus, and it is led by the International Diabetes Federation.

When someone has diabetes, then this means that their pancreas is unable to produce enough or any insulin to break down the glucose in their blood. This condition can lead to a significant increase in a person’s blood sugar levels. Symptoms of high blood sugar include frequent urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger.

With the new campaign from Sunstar, a holistic healthcare company, this is focused on research examining the two-way relationship between oral health and diabetes, designed to run over a thirty-year period. This research, in conjunction with the European Federation of Periodontology, is important not only because those with periodontal disease have a much greater risk of developing diabetes; it also stands that those who have diabetes are more likely to develop gum (gingivitis) disease.

The way to help to address these issues is to maintain good oral health, especially for people with diabetes. Maintaining good oral health can assist with reducing blood sugar levels. This is the central message that forms part of the ‘Perio & Diabetes Campaign’.

Essential oral care recommendations include visits to a dentist twice a year; brushing teeth twice per day; and focusing on interdental brushing. According to Dr Marzia Massignani, who is the Senior Manager Scientific Affairs and Corporate Communications at Sunstar: “Early diagnosis of both diabetes and periodontal disease is essential if we want to improve prevention and treatment. It is therefore vital to raise awareness about this existing relationship and provide useful tools to patients, professionals and people at risk.”

As well as the research and advice, the campaign is calling for better surveillance, especially with detecting undiagnosed diabetes or prediabetes conditions in the dental surgery through appropriate instructions produced for dentists.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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