According to the Canadian Diabetes Association, more than 3 million Canadians are currently living with diabetes. This number is estimated to climb to 4.2 million as of 2020. People with diabetes are especially susceptible to oral health problems because of decreased resistance to infection and inflammation. In addition, they are twice as likely to develop gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums that, if left untreated, can lead to periodontal disease, a much more serious issue. Periodontal disease affects the body’s ability to control blood sugar levels, which can put people at risk for blindness, kidney failure, heart disease, stroke, or even amputation of extremities.
Thankfully, periodontal disease can be prevented and controlled, especially if caught early. Also, a reduction of inflammation brought out by treatment at earlier stages may help to improve blood sugar levels, keeping all those other issues at bay. This is also the reason why having an up-to-date medical history of all our patients is extremely important so that we know exactly what to look for. During regular dental visits, your dental hygienist can check for early signs of gingivitis or periodontal disease and work with you to develop an oral care plan that you can easily follow. What some may not know is that your dental hygienist can also identify potential signs of diabetes in clients who have not yet been diagnosed with it. There are so many good reasons why all Canadians should remember to visit their dental hygienist or dentist as part of their oral health routine.
Since 1963, the Canadian Dental Hygienists Association (CDHA) has been the national voice of 30,000+ registered dental hygienists working in Canada, directly representing 17,500 members, including students. As the sixth largest registered health profession in the country, dental hygiene professionals work in a variety of settings, including independent practice, with people of all ages, to address anything related to good oral health.
For more information, visit www.dentalhygienecanada.ca