Research shows that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body.
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) has partnered with Pacific Dental Services® (PDS), a leading dental support organisation, to increase awareness of the link between periodontal disease and diabetes, and how oral health providers can assist patients in preventing and managing this chronic health condition.
The timing of this announcement coincides with American Diabetes Month™, a month-long campaign that recognises all forms of the disease – including Type 1, Type 2, gestational diabetes and prediabetes – along with the millions of Americans living with diabetes today and those who remain undiagnosed.
Educating others on the link between their oral health and overall health – what PDS and its supported practices call The Mouth-Body Connection® – is a priority for PDS. Research shows that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body. Maladies of the mouth, including periodontal disease, may be linked with other medical conditions including diabetes, oral cancer, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and more.
According to the American Academy of Periodontology, people with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes.
“Oral health is the window to the entire body, and nearly one in five people with severe gum disease have Type 2 diabetes and don’t know it,” said Charles D. Henderson, chief development officer at the American Diabetes Association. “Through our partnership and collaboration with Pacific Dental Services, we look forward to raising awareness about the connection between oral health and diabetes.”
“Due to the bi-directional relationship of periodontal disease and diabetes, oral healthcare providers can truly make a difference in preventing and managing the disease,” said Stephen E. Thorne IV, founder and chief executive officer of Pacific Dental Services. “We recognise the importance of dental and medical providers working more collaboratively together to improve the overall health of their patients and are investing heavily in this area – through clinical education as well as proven technology.”
“Through this partnership with the ADA, PDS and its supported practices will have the ability to extend education and awareness of the Mouth-Body Connection even further, and ultimately improve the health of an even greater audience,” said Daniel Burke, chief enterprise strategy officer of Pacific Dental Services.”
In recognition of American Diabetes Month, PDS-supported practices distributed the latest issue of Generations of Smiles, an educational magazine produced by the Smile Generation® that aims to educate the public on the link between oral health and whole-body health. The issue focuses on the link between oral health and diabetes, and contains nutritional information, as well as a 60-second diabetes risk test developed by the ADA.