February 1, 2019

The week of February 1st – 7th is African Health and Heritage Week, and there’s no better time than now to discuss the startling link between type 2 diabetes in African Americans and gum disease. The more you understand how these two conditions could affect you as an African American, the more proactive you can be about improving your health and taking care of potential issues before they become life-threatening.

Surprising Statistics

If you’re a black adult in the United States, you’re almost two times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes than white adults in the United States. There are a variety of type 2 diabetes risk factors that exist in the African American community, including:

  • Insulin resistance
  • Genetic traits
  • Family history of diabetes
  • Obesity or being overweight

While not all of these risk factors can be controlled (including genetic traits and family history), some can be minimized with healthier lifestyle choices. Adopting healthy eating habits and getting regular exercise may significantly reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes.

The Link Between Type 2 Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes is a condition that affects the body’s ability to control its own blood sugar. It also reduces the body’s ability to fight off bacteria. Since gum disease (also known as periodontal disease) involves bacteria in the gum tissue, diabetes can increase the risk of periodontal disease and can make it harder to treat. Here are a few of the most common effects of gum disease you should know about:

  • Bright red, swollen gums
  • Bleeding when eating, flossing or brushing
  • Chronic bad breath
  • Loose or missing teeth

Another, less obvious effect of periodontal disease is bone loss in the jaw as the disease progresses.

Improve Your Health

If you already have type 2 diabetes as well as symptoms of gum disease, it’s important to receive treatment as soon as possible. Call Creekwood Dental Arts to schedule your consultation with Drs. Donna Miller, Michelle Hinds or Austin Green.



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