Eye on Diabetes: November 14th is International Diabetes Awareness Day

Every 6 seconds a person dies from diabetes

One in two adults with diabetes goes through life undiagnosed. This November, the International Diabetes Federation is focusing on the importance of screenings and good health.

Currently, 415 million adults are living with diabetes, and this number is expected to increase to 642 million, or one in ten adults, by 2040. This figure doesn’t include the rising number of children suffering from type 2 diabetes as a result of poor nutrition and physical inactivity among children.

37% of all adults with diabetes live in the Western Pacific region

Did you know that as many as 70% of type 2 diabetes cases can be prevented or delayed by adopting healthier lifestyles? To put it another way: by 2040, 170 million cases of diabetes could be prevented or delayed if they adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Diabetes and oral health

So what does all of this have to do with your oral health? Diabetics are more prone to gum disease and tooth decay, as well as a whole raft of other serious health issues including heart disease and even amputation.

The most common oral health problems affecting diabetics are:

  • Gum disease
  • Dry mouth
  • Tooth decay
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Gum abscesses

Diabetics have a greater risk of oral health problems because:

  • Poor blood glucose control leads to bacteria growth and increases risks of infection.
  • Diabetes medication can cause dry mouth and taste disturbances (usually metallic taste).
  • Hypo treatments (usually fast acting sugary food or drink) can lead to tooth decay.

Important tips to help prevent oral health problems:

  • Keep blood glucose levels within target.
  • Follow a healthy diet (consult your GP about this)
  • Clean your teeth and gums twice a day—and brush your tongue each day.
  • Use dental floss at least once a day
  • Drink plenty of water, chew sugar-free gum
  • Don’t smoke
  • If you treat a hypo, brush your teeth half an hour later to prevent decay and cavities.[1]
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a check-up and clean.

If you would like to know more about World Diabetes Day, click here, and for a more comprehensive breakdown of the numbers you can visit the International Diabetes Federation’s diabetes atlas.

How Coastal Dental Care can help you maintain your oral health

A regular dental check-up with Coastal Dental Care is a great way to maintain your oral health. With over 12 practices spanning across Northern NSW and South East Queensland, our friendly dentists will ensure you receive a high quality of dental care.

A check-up and clean takes care of your teeth in a way brushing and flossing cannot—that is why it’s an important part of your oral hygiene routine.

Prevention is better than a cure

Gum disease has been linked to diabetes, chronic kidney disease, cancer and heart disease. Don’t wait until you’re in pain—visit your local Coastal Dental Care today.

If you would like to know more about how Coastal Dental Care can help you, or to book an appointment, please contact us today.



[1] https://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/news/11085?type=articles