High blood sugar is known to wreak havoc on the human body. It can impair vision and mobility, promote inflammation, and lead to type-2 diabetes.
If it’s not kept in check, you’re at risk for all of these conditions and more.
But a new study is showing associations between oral hygiene and blood sugar management.
The research suggests that regular tooth-brushing is associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, people with poor oral health are at a greater risk for the condition.
But does brushing your teeth really have the potential to limit your risk for diabetes?
It’s quite hard to tell.
Poor oral health, like gum disease, cavities, lost teeth, etc., is closely associated with type-2 diabetes. But diabetes can cause these conditions. High blood sugar can promote cavities and gum disease, and many of the same high-sugar foods that contribute to tooth decay also lead to high blood sugar. If not managed, it can result in diabetes.
Researchers from this new study believe the mouth could be a gateway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and trigger an immune response. Systemic inflammation can play a role in impairing blood sugar metabolism, thereby boosting diabetes risk.
Essentially, they suggest that poor oral hygiene is another trigger for inflammation that can lead to diabetes and a number of conditions. They found that people who brush their teeth three times per day have an 8% lower risk of diabetes.
Although potentially helpful, your toothbrush should not be your primary weapon against diabetes. But that doesn’t mean oral health can’t indicate blood sugar levels. If you have problems with your teeth and gums, it may signal high blood sugar.
That information can be useful in helping you manage blood sugar and potentially prevent diabetes.