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Oral Care Battle of the Sexes

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By: Jacqueline M. Duda

It's no secret that there's a connection between diabetes and oral health. Studies have shown that poorly controlled diabetes can increase your chances of developing periodontal diseases (gum diseases characterized by chronic infection and inflammation within the tissues that support your teeth) such as: gingivitis (red gums and soft tissue swelling that is reversible with treatment) and periodontitis (which can destroy the bone and jaw that support the teeth), and also oral fungal (yeast) infections, and cavities. Left untreated, periodontal diseases have been noted in some studies to affect your blood glucose. Researchers call the relationship a "two-way street." But recent studies are closing in on an even finer detail — the role sex hormones and age play in the development of dental problems.


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* The American Diabetes Association recommends that a comprehensive diabetes evaluation include a dental examination if the person with diabetes has not been seen by a dentist within the past year. If you have diabetes, see a dentist regularly so he or she can determine the level of follow up care you need.

1 - Maria Emanuel Ryan, D.D.S., Ph.D. http://www.stonybrookmedicalcenter.org/dental/
2 - Diabetes Care Clinical Practice Recommendations January 2011. http://care.diabetesjournals.org/content/34/Supplement_1

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