Diabetes is a disease that affects every part of the body, and for people with unstable blood glucose levels there is a higher risk than normal for developing serious complications from poor oral hygiene. In a study by dLife, the world's largest diabetes community, and SoundView Research, Inc., 66 percent of active diabetes managers had not changed their oral care habits since being diagnosed and over half have not been advised by their dentist to take extra care to brush, floss, or rinse daily.
"The results of this study show the gulf that exists between perceptions and the connections between diabetes and oral health. Your dental health absolutely affects the control of your diabetes," says Charles W. Martin, DDS, MAGD, DABOI/ID, DICOI, FIADFE. "Inflammation in the mouth coming from gum disease spreads to the whole body. This inflammation increases insulin resistance, cholesterol levels, and C-reactive protein levels. So, uncontrolled oral disease can be the hidden factor working against those trying to maintain good control over their diabetes."
Eight hundred people with diabetes were surveyed on their knowledge of what they considered 'good' daily oral health care. Three-fourths believed their routines to be effective, even though 60 percent reported using floss and rinse less than once a day. More than half of the participants said they went to regular checkups and that their dentists were aware of their diabetes. One in five believed a little bleeding when brushing was okay.