In November 2010, Delta Dental, a dental health insurance provider, found that visiting your dentist on a regular basis can provide early detection for diabetes—a condition that for decades has been diagnosed only by a medical doctor. In the next forty years, the number of people with undetected diabetes will increase more than three times. In addition to the presence of cavities, it has been shown that people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease. The diabetes affects our immune system, making gum disease likely, and in turn, the gum disease affects our immune system making it very hard to manage a diagnosed but uncontrolled diabetic. According to Delta Dental, the condition of our teeth and gums may reflect whether or not we have diabetes and many people will not know that they could have diabetes until they sit down in the dentist’s chair.
According to news reports out of New York University, a large portion of people with periodontal disease are at risk of developing diabetes. Because dentists can detect early signs of diabetes, there is a strong push for dentists to provide screenings for diabetes in their offices. Because most people visit a dentist at least once a year, many professionals feel that a dental office is a good place to administer diabetes screenings.
Dentists can also assess one’s predisposition for diabetes by seeing how many teeth are missing. Dentists can also determine whether or not we’re at risk for diabetes by doing a periodontal charting which measures the depth of the pockets or spaces between the roots of your teeth and the attachment of your gums, according to UNC Cancer Care. For those who have early signs of diabetes, getting a dental diagnosis gives us a jump start on managing what is becoming a life threatening epidemic. Dentists can help you modify your diet to prevent or slow down the full onset of diabetes and refer you to the proper doctor to get it under control before it becomes deadly.
Don’t wait. Call our office at 248-356-8790 to schedule a checkup and hygiene visit with one of our excellent dental hygienists!
Until next time,
Dr. Mark W. Langberg, DDS, MAGD
26206 West 12 Mile Road, Suite 303
Southfield, MI 48034