What Is Diabetes?
Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects the way your body uses blood sugar, called glucose. Normally, the pancreas produces insulin to help cells use the glucose in your blood as energy. A person with diabetes, however, cannot produce or use insulin properly, which allows glucose to accumulate. Over time, high levels of glucose can cause a range of health problems, including blood disease, nerve damage, kidney damage, vision loss, and more.
Diabetes is common. About 20% of all health care dollars are spent on diabetes treatment and management, totaling $245 billion annually. While there is no known cure, early diagnosis and treatment of diabetes can help manage the disease and reduce its health impact.
What Are the Signs of Diabetes?
If you have any of the following symptoms, you should see a doctor about your glucose levels:
- Frequent urination
- Excessive thirst or hunger
- Unwanted weight gain
- Blurry vision
- Tingling in the hands or feet
Diabetes and the Mouth-Body Connection
There are a number of risk factors associated with diabetes and oral health. Diabetes can affect your oral health by increasing the level of harmful bacteria in the gums, causing periodontal disease. Gum inflammation can also damage the pancreas, where insulin is produced, potentially leading to or worsening diabetes.
Nonsurgical periodontal treatment is therefore a vital way for patients with type-2 diabetes to improve your health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs in the long term.
Periodontal treatment and maintenance can help type-2 diabetes patients achieve:
- 39% fewer annual hospitalizations
- 34% reduction in tooth loss
- 20% fewer cases of microvascular disease
- 9% lower overall medical costs
For patients concerned about how to prevent diabetes, Union Village Medical Group provides complete diabetes diagnosis and treatment services. We also work closely with our partners at Union Village Modern Dentistry to provide the comprehensive mouth-body treatment you need to achieve whole-body health.