*This is a sponsored post in association with Colgate Total and Mom it Forward Blogger Network. All my opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*
As most of you know, I am a dentist who obviously is very serious about oral health. On my spare time between reading American Dental Association packets and treating patients, I try to make myself aware of how we could better our oral health as a nation. One of the biggest associations I have learned about since my dental school years, is how someone who is diagnosed with diabetes is twice as likely to develop gum disease.
I am going to take you back to 2002, which was my third year at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine. I had a patient named Mr. Stan (name changed for identity purposes) who came to me one day with severe periodontal problems. His teeth were so poorly damaged that he had bone loss, huge periodontal pocketing, mobility in his teeth, and severe dental decay. After going through his medical history, I found the culprit. Mr. Stan had Type 1 Diabetes and although he had his medicines and food intake under control, he was not maintaining control of his oral hygiene, which lead him to see me with a lot of work needed to be done.
Mr. Stan is just one of many examples of patients I have seen through the years who ended up having terrible oral hygiene problems because of diabetes. Because of the huge association of diabetes and oral health, Colgate Total and the American Diabetes Association launched a new campaign called “Watch Your Mouth” to help raise awareness surrounding the often over-looked link between oral health and diabetes. It is very important to make sure if you or anyone you know suffers from diabetes, they get dental care from the start of their diagnosis. People who live with Diabetes are more susceptible to bacterial infections (which could end up leading you straight to the hospital) and less able to fight those germs that invade the gums.
I know I just gave you some bad news about this association between diabetes and oral health, however, there is good news on the way! I am going to give you two easy tips to help make sure your oral health is not suffering if you have diabetes. Even if you do not have diabetes though, these tips can be very useful.
First and foremost, you need to use a toothpaste that is recommended by dentists including myself across the country. I personally and professionally recommend brushing twice a day with Colgate Total. Brushing twice a day with Colgate Total toothpaste, can help improve gums in as little as four weeks. Colgate Total is approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) to help prevent gingivitis, which happens to be the most common form of gum disease. We brush with Colgate Total here since it is known to strengthen enamel, fight cavities, reduce plaque, reduce gingivitis, fight bad breath, and so much more. Take my word from it professionally, that Colgate Total will do the job, it is supposed to do! If you suffer from diabetes, make sure you are using Colgate Total Toothpaste morning and night, and you will see your gums improving over the month.
Second, make sure if you have diabetes (or even if you do not), to visit your dentist regularly and keep him/her updated of your medical history, as well as new medicines. We make sure to ask before any appointment if there has been changes, but if you do not tell us, we will not know. While your doctor and certified diabetes educator plays an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist. We can guide you on ways to help improve your oral hygiene. You do not need to suffer with periodontal problems if you have diabetes!
It is known that Diabetes is associated with low saliva production and dry mouth, which increases the risk of for enamel demineralization and make enamel more prone to decay. There is help now though! Using Colgate Total and visit your dentist frequently (every 6 months or less if severe perio problems), can make sure you have a healthy mouth for many years to come!