Oral Health and Diabetes

Patients with type 2 diabetes are three times as likely to develop periodontal disease as compared to a non-diabetic.

  • Periodontal (gum) disease is often considered the sixth complication of diabetes. Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
  • The role of oral health in diabetes is a two way street. Patients with uncontrolled periodontal disease have a hard time managing their diabetes. However, the control of periodontal disease can improve the management of diabetes.

Why do I need to see my dentist if I have diabetes?

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts diabetics at increased risk for diabetic complications. Thus, diabetics who have periodontal disease should be treated to eliminate the periodontal infection.

Diabetes in Hawaii

Between 1997-2007 the prevalence of self-reported adult diabetes has steadily increased from 5% to 7.7% (below is the relative growth rate projected out to 2015)

In 9 out of 10 cases, Type 2 diabetes is preventable, manageable and controllable with healthier lifestyle habits such as eating better and maintaining good oral health




Cost of Diabetes in Hawaii

The total cost estimates of diabetes for the Hawaii population includes excess medical costs of $764 million. 

  • Associated costs include absenteeism, reduced productivity and lost productive capacity valued at almost $274 million.
  • In 2010 the total cost of diabetes was estimated to be over 1 billion dollars, the projections for 2015 is estimated to be over 1.1 billion dollars


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