Dr. Aliza A. Lifshitz is founder and Editor-in-Chief of VidaySalud.com, is a renowned physician, author and health commentator. For over 20 years, she has been Univision’s health expert, appearing regularly on such programs as TV Mujer, Hola América, Al Mediodía, Noticias y Más and Primer Impacto.
Dr. Lifshitz has partnered with Colgate to provide Latinos with information they need when it comes to diabetes and oral care. People with diabetes are two times more likely to get gum disease and the link between the two is critical. Serious gum disease with diabetes can make blood sugar levels harder to control.
According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention:
– 25.8 million Americans have diabetes — 8.3 percent of the U.S. population. Of these, 7 million do not know they have the disease.
– In 2010, about 1.9 million people ages 20 or older were diagnosed with diabetes.
– The number of people diagnosed with diabetes has risen from 1.5 million in 1958 to 18.8 million in 2010, an increase of epidemic proportions.
– It is estimated that 79 million adults aged 20 and older have prediabetes. Prediabetes is a condition where blood glucose levels are higher than normal but not high enough to be called diabetes. Studies have shown that by losing weight and increasing physical activity people can prevent or delay prediabetes from progressing to diabetes.
– 11.8 percent of Hispanics/Latinos ages 20 or older have diagnosed diabetes. Among Hispanics/Latinos, diabetes prevalence rates are 7.6 percent for both Cubans and for Central and South Americans, 13.3 percent for Mexican Americans, and 13.8 percent for Puerto Ricans.
Dr. Liftshitz has 5 tips on taking charge of your diabetes and oral health:
1. Diet and exercise. Take charge with small steps. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, have smaller portions of your favorite food and brush your teeth after each meal. Slowly make the changes and keep your doctor and family informed to help you stay on the road to a healthier life.
2. Talk to your doctor and your dentist. There’s no question your doctor plays an integral role in helping you manage your diabetes. Your dentist is important too so give your doctor’s name and phone number to your dentist to work on a treatment plan.
3. Diabetics are more susceptible to serious gum disease so take good care of teeth and gums by getting a dental check up every 6 months. If you don’t have a dentist or dental insurance look for a school in your area. Most dental schools also have clinics where classes visit a private practice dentist.
4. Take preventative steps against gum disease. Serious gum disease can have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of disease. That is why it is so important to follow your doctors recommendations to control your diabetes and to decrease your likelihood of developing gum disease.
5. Choose your toothpaste wisely. One simple step to help control your gum health and prevent early gum disease is to brush for two minutes twice a day with a toothpaste specially formulated for gum health such as Colgate Total and to floss at least once a day.
Colgate Total toothpaste is FDA approved and has been accepted by the American Dental Association to help prevent gingivitis which is the most common form of gum disease. Diabetics are more likely to get gum disease because it reduces the body’s ability to fight infection. When diabetics have any kind infection that affects blood sugar control as well. So if you don’t treat the gum disease your doctor will have difficulty controlling the diabetes, so need to treat both.
For more information on diabetes and oral health visit: www.oralhealthanddiabetes.com