Do you talk teeth health with your doc?
You may leave cavities and flossing lectures to your dentist, but it could be time to talk oral health with your primary care physician, too.
Why? According to the American Dental Hygenists' Association, about 95 percent of Americans who have diabetes also have periodontal disease. But, according to a recent survey, about one-third of Americans aren't even aware of the oral health-diabetes connection.
Have you been flossing?
The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that over half of the participants were suffering from symptoms of gum disease, but that even more than half didn't talk about teeth health when they went to the doctor for a routine checkup.
While that may not be surprising, more alarming were some others statistics, like the fact that only about 38 percent of people with diabetes pay "close attention" to oral health.
The blood sugar factor
According to a statement from the Southern California Keck School of Medicine, people who have diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease because of bacteria infections caused by poorly monitored blood sugar levels. Even more concerning is that once gum disease is present, it can cause blood sugar levels to rise and make diabetes an even more unmanageable condition.
"We urge diabetics to pay special attention to their overall oral health and maintain a regimen of professional teeth cleanings," said Dr. Vip Patel of Warwick Valley Dental.
The good news? After survey participants found out about the diabetes-oral health connection, over half claimed that they would start paying more attention to their teeth.