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Your Dentist may be able to Determine Your Diabetes Risk

Wednesday, December 30, 2009 by: Frank Mangano
Tags: diabetes, dental health, health news

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(NewsTarget) Regular dental cleanings help the average person prevent cavities and fillings. But could a dental visit be your first line of defense in the prevention of diabetes as well? Researchers from NYU sure think so.

They discovered this link, which has been documented elsewhere, after reviewing information from over 2,900 participants that took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in 2003. The data had a wide array of information on the participants (e.g. weight, height, age, history of diseases, present diseases, blood pressure, etc.), but where the information really stood out was with respect to periodontal disease and diabetes risk. In a whopping 93 percent of cases, people with periodontal disease were deemed "at risk" for developing diabetes (e.g. high body mass index, high blood pressure, history of diabetes in family).

And in what certainly doesn`t come as a surprise, people with periodontal disease were far less likely to have seen or visited a dentist within the past two years (i.e. 60 percent of those with periodontal disease had visited a dentist once in the past two years).

In light of this, the study`s lead author, Dr. Shiela Strauss, recommends that dentists start to screen people for diabetes right at their office. The screening would be non-invasive and would require what diabetics go through virtually every day to maintain healthy blood sugar levels (e.g. finger pricking and then using a glucometer to gauge sugar levels).

Diabetes is right up there with obesity in its ubiquity these days. About 24 million people have it, a quarter of whom don`t even know it, and the rate is expected to crest at 44 million by 2025. Worst of all: Diabetes is both racist and ageist. Diabetes overwhelmingly affects the old as opposed to the young, and it affects 12 percent of Hispanics and blacks as opposed to the six percent of whites.

The study is published in the online edition of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.

Periodontal disease is second only to the common cold in its ubiquity for infections. It`s believed that 75 percent of Americans over the age of 35 have it. This indicates that an overwhelming number of people either aren`t brushing regularly/enough or are not visiting their dentist regularly/at all.

Periodontal disease develops when plaque forms around the upper tooth and lower gum. Plaque forms when there`s a build-up of food particles that aren`t cleared away during brushing. Besides the immediate health effects of periodontal disease (e.g. swollen gums, loose teeth, bleeding gums), the final result is the loss of teeth.

To avoid such a loss, schedule that appointment with your dentist that you should have scheduled last year. Holistic dental practices are increasing every year, so there's a good chance your home state now has at least one (or in California's case, 20). The Holistic Dental Association's web site will help you find a holistic dental practice that's closest to you.

But besides that, there are at least three things you can do to help avoid periodontal disease and its symptoms.

For starters, vitamin C is vital. Bleeding gums are a symptom of vitamin C deficiency, so taking at least 4,000 mg per day can help rectify that deficiency. It also helps to slow the growth of gingivitis.

Another thing you want to do is avoid refined sugars. Sugar is a feeding ground for plaque build-up. So avoid refined carbohydrates as much as possible.

Finally, eat or drink foods that promote healthy teeth and gums. Apples are the best to eat, and tea is the best to drink. Chamomile tea is especially "tooth-friendly."

Balch, Phyllis A. "Prescription for Nutritional Healing." 4th Edition. Avery: New York

About the author

Frank Mangano is an American author, health advocate, researcher and entrepreneur in the field of alternative health. He is perhaps best known for his book "The Blood Pressure Miracle," which continues to be an Amazon best selling book. Additionally, he has published numerous reports and a considerable amount of articles pertaining to natural health.
Mangano is the publisher of Natural Health On The Web, which offers readers free and valuable information on alternative remedies. To learn more visit:

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