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Bitter Effects of the Sweet Tooth

One of the secrets to longevity is reportedly, dental floss! Flossing one’s teeth lowers the risk for periodontitis or inflammatory diseases of the tissues that surround and support the teeth. This can lead to bone loss around the teeth and subsequent tooth loss. And that’s not all. This brewing inflammation is linked to a higher risk for cardiovascular disease and death. Hopefully, by reducing one’s risk for periodontal disease through proper oral care, one can also lower risk for cardiovascular complications.

The mouth is definitely more than just an entryway for food. It could also be a window into a diabetes patient’s blood sugar status. Poor blood sugar control breeds oral health problems. Elevated blood glucose levels impair one’s immune function and increase the risk for mouth infections and periodontitis. Periodontitis in turn, can wreak havoc on one’s blood sugar levels and make control of diabetes especially difficult.

Bad teeth may sometimes be the first sign that one has diabetes. Not only is periodontitis more prevalent in people with diabetes, it also tends to be more severe. About half of all people with diabetes are still undiagnosed. Therefore, the dental practitioner becomes a very important person who can help identify people who should be screened for diabetes.

A 1998 Department of Health Survey showed that 96 percent of Filipinos have tooth decay. To help take a bite out of this problem, in 2004, the government has declared the month of February of every year as National Dental Health Month. What once was a week-long celebration was extended in order to be able to reach more people especially those in the countryside, and make them more aware of proper oral care. To help in this endeavor, we have loaded this issue with information that can equip readers to ward off tooth and mouth problems.

May you be blessed with a healthy smile, kissable breath and a happy heart this Valentine’s Day and always!

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