Diabetes affects 18.2 million people in the United States and is expected to double by the year 2010. Additionally, diabetics who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels are more susceptible to oral health problems than non-diabetics, according to a study that appears in the November/December 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry’s (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
"Oral health symptoms of diabetics include dry mouth, periodontal (gum) disease, oral infections, cavities and delayed wound healing," says Robert E. Rada, DDS, MBA, co-author of the study.
When salivary glands do not work properly, dry mouth occurs, which leads to decay and other oral health problems. Diabetics can prevent dry mouth by increasing water intake, chewing sugarless gum and visiting a dentist regularly for personalized treatment options.
Jennifer Starkey | EurekAlert!
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