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Chew on This: How Healthier Gums Can Protect You

Good oral care protects your heart and diabetes health.

Are you aware of the signs of gum disease? Notice that your gums are swollen, tender or bleed? Have bad breath? Feel any loose or sensitive teeth? If so, head to the dentist to get help with…your type 2 diabetes!

A recent review of research points to a connection between the bacteria that infect your mouth and inflammation, which leads to a chemical change that can reduce the effectiveness of your body's insulin. And when your insulin is out of control, so is your blood sugar. Controlling your blood sugar helps lower your risk of serious diabetes complications related to your eyes, kidneys, nerves and more.

Turns out, good oral hygiene may also protect you against heart attack and heart disease. When your gums are bleeding, the same gum bacteria that cause dental plaque can escape from your mouth into your bloodstream, where it can trigger blood clots. So brush up on brushing today with these four simple steps to keeping your mouth healthy:

  • Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
  • Floss after every meal
  • If you indulge with sugary foods and drinks, be sure to brush soon after
  • Visit your dentist twice each year or more, if suggested
Published March 2012

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