Diabetes and Periodontal Disease- A Note from Stephanie
30th Aug 2012 | Posted in: Blog Comments Off on Diabetes and Periodontal Disease- A Note from Stephanie
Diabetes and Periodontal Disease- A Note from Stephanie

I have been a practicing dental hygienist for thirteen years and have “cleaned” the teeth of many patients who have diabetes.  Through the years my profession has changed due to research that shows links between periodontal disease and certain systemic disease such as diabetes.

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in which a person has high blood glucose levels either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced.  People with diabetes are not necessarily overweight or over a certain age.  People with diabetes have a reduced ability to fight bacterial infections such as periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is an ongoing inflammation caused by bacteria that live in plaque.  This disease may be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise, making diabetes harder to control.   When diabetes is not controlled properly, high glucose levels in saliva may help bacteria thrive.   The American Diabetes Association recommends a post-meal glucose level of less than 180 mg/dL and a fasting plasma glucose of 90-130 mg/dL.

It is my goal as a dental hygienist to provide the education and tools to maintain a healthy mouth.  I am not simply “cleaning teeth”, I am treating periodontal infections and working with our patients to maintain a healthy mouth which in turn may contribute to improved overall health.

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