The American Diabetes Association holds American Diabetes Month each November, which is just around the corner. Month-long activities aim to raise awareness of the disease and its impact. Lake Orion implant dentist, Dr. Brad Greenfield reflects upon the impact of diabetes on the overall and oral health of nearly 26 million people in America.
Diabetes: Types 1 and 2
Diabetes exists in two types. Type 1 diabetes is a chronic condition developed in youth. You may hear it called juvenile diabetes because children can develop it. Type 1 can be developed in adolescence and young adulthood. Type 1 diabetics produce little or no insulin. Doctors do not know the cause of Type 1 diabetes, but suspect it may be an autoimmune disorder. Type 2 diabetes develops from a combination of heredity and personal characteristics including being overweight and inactive. Type 2 diabetics produce insulin, but either do not produce enough or cannot use the insulin adequately. People of any age can develop this type of diabetes and it is far more common than type 1, making up 90% or more of diabetes cases.
If you read the diabetes fact sheet from the American Diabetes Association, you will find that diabetes is a leading cause in the following conditions:
- Heart disease
- Kidney failure
- New cases of blindness
- Nerve damage
Sadly, heart disease and strokes claim the lives of two of every three diabetes sufferers. People with diabetes have a rate of amputation which soars 10 times above that of the rest of the population. Nerve damage (found in 60-70 percent of diabetes patients) can result in various nerve issues including slowed digestion, sexual dysfunction, and pain in the hands or feet.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Research has shown a connection between diabetes patients and gum disease. In fact, the connection may be two-way: poor glucose control creates gum problems and gum disease may, in turn, affect blood glucose and diabetes control. Diabetes patients can have problems with dry mouth and thrush as well, but gum disease remains the chief concern. Gum disease is the leading cause of adult tooth loss, so diabetes issues could start you on a track towards needing tooth replacement. If this should happen to you, dental implants make a terrific option.
Visit your Lake Orion Dentist
You can visit Dr. Greenfield’s office in Lake Orion at 248-693-6213 to schedule a dental appointment for a dental implant consultation. We offer comprehensive dentistry services to patients in Lake Orion and surrounding communities.