The American Diabetes Association Launches Collaborative Oral Health Campaign with Pacific Dental Services

Today, the American Diabetes Association® (ADA) announced a collaborative Oral Health campaign with Pacific Dental Services (PDS), one of the country’s leading dental support organizations. The campaign aims to increase awareness of the link between periodontal disease (gum disease) and diabetes and how oral health providers can assist patients in preventing and managing this chronic health condition.

Over 37 million Americans live with diabetes today, and 1 in 5 people don’t know they have it. Diabetes can affect every part of the body, including the mouth. In fact, oral health issues are sometimes the first sign that a person has diabetes or prediabetes.

Dental care is an important part of a diabetes management plan, as there is a two-way link between oral health and diabetes—meaning that high blood glucose (blood sugar) affects oral health, while gum disease affects how well you can manage your blood glucose levels.

Having diabetes can increase the amount of glucose in your saliva, and it can cause your mouth to produce less saliva, which lessens your mouth’s ability to wash away food particles and keep the area moist. Both can lead to an increased risk of developing gum disease. And if you already have gum disease, your gums can become inflamed. Studies show that inflammation in the body can increase blood glucose levels, thus increasing your risk of developing diabetes or, if you have it, making it harder to manage.

It’s important to include a dentist as part of your health care team so they can address gum disease early and advise on how to keep your mouth healthy—whether you have diabetes or are looking to prevent it. A dentist can even spot the warning signs of diabetes during your annual oral exam, but only a doctor can officially diagnose you with a blood test.

“Oral health is the window to the entire body, and nearly 1 in 5 people with severe gum disease were suspected of having type 2 diabetes and not knowing it,” said Charles D. Henderson, chief executive officer for the American Diabetes Association. “Dental care is vital in order to successfully manage diabetes. Your dentist is an essential member of your health care team. We hope this collaboration brings awareness and education to people living with diabetes, so they can improve their overall health.”

“Pacific Dental Services is proud to be a leading voice in advocating for closer collaboration between medical and dental professionals in order to improve systemic health outcomes for patients,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, Founder and CEO of Pacific Dental Services. “Due to the bi-directional relationship of periodontal disease and diabetes, oral health care providers can truly make a difference in preventing and managing the disease. We are proud to partner with the American Diabetes Association in this effort to educate patients on the connection between their oral health and overall wellbeing.”

This Oral Health campaign will promote educational materials and resources related to diabetes and oral care on the ADA’s website, including articles, daily health tips, social media posts, and more. Take the ADA’s 60-Second Type 2 Diabetes Risk Test today and receive the next steps to managing your risk.

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