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Diabetics Find a Way to Better Their Dental Health

Jan 31, 2014

The Center of Disease Control estimates that as many as 1 in 3 US adults could have diabetes by 2050 if we don’t alter our lifestyles.  In 2010 alone, approximately 1.9 million Americans were diagnosed with diabetes, so imagine how many more may have contracted the disease since then.  Diabetics are more susceptible to serious gum diseases like periodontitis, and gum disease may worsen their diabetes. 

According to a new study, there is hope for the oral health of the nearly 26 million Americans who have diabetes.  One hundred and eighty-six patients with Type II diabetes participated in the University of Copenhagen study to show how “health coaching” can improve dental health and empower patients.  

Participants were split into two groups.  One group was given traditional health information like a brochure on dental health with diabetes while the other was offered personal coaching sessions over a six-month period.  These sessions focused stress management, healthy diet and the importance of proper dental health.  The results of the study may change the way future health campaigns are created.  The personal attention given to the coached participants made a considerable difference in both their physical and mental states.

"In the group of patients who were given personal health coaching, biological markers for periodontitis, also known as 'loose teeth disease' were reduced by as much as 50% over a six-month period. The patients in the trial group saw a significant decline in long-range blood sugar levels, whereas figures for the control group were unchanged. Moreover, the patients in the coaching group expressed markedly increased self-efficacy in relation to handling illness and health issues," explains Assistant Professor and authorized coach Ayse Basak Cinar from the Department of Odontology at the University of Copenhagen.

Keeping diabetes in check by controlling blood sugar can help prevent dental health disasters.  By taking good care of your teeth by flossing and brushing twice daily and visiting your dentist every six months, you can also beat out gum disease.  The American Diabetes Association reminds us that you should keep your dentist and hygienist informed that you have diabetes and of any changes in medication or condition.  They are equipped to handle patients with specific needs. 

Speaking of people who are equipped… are you able to smile about your dental insurance?  No?  We can help!  It is important to have a good plan, especially when you have other health factors that can affect your dental health. 

Stay smiling, America!

Sources: CDC, American Diabetes Association, Medical News Today

Copyright 2014, Bloom Insurance Agency, LLC©

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