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I remember the first time I really became aware of diabetes. Sure, I had heard about it. I had even know one or two people I went to school with who had it. But it wasn’t until my dad was diagnosed with it, followed by me being diagnosed with gestational diabetes during my last two pregnancies that the truth about diabetes hit home.
My first encounter was when my father was diagnosed. Apparently he collapsed at home and was jaundiced. My mother has worked in an Emergency room of a hospital most of my life, and she new that this was really, bad news. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital. It was there that we found out that he had diabetes. It was there all along, but no one even knew it. Sure, he had a symptom here and there by my dad was strong, active, hard-working man my whole life. He worked double shifts. He could fix just about anything. He coached my soccer team. I honestly didn’t every remember him even complaining of a cold! And, yet, in the middle of the afternoon, hundreds of miles away, my mother calls to tell me they are in the hospital and at that time, all I could do was wait.
It took a couple of years, but he now has managed his diabetes. He no longer needs injections but he does require steady monitoring, medications, check ups and watching what and when he eats as well as good dental hygience. It is better, it’s not quite so scary, but it doesn’t go away.
My next encounter was my routine sugar testing while pregnant with my third child. I was “borderline” which means yet another test. I remained borderline, but was able to control with diet and monitoring. My food log became like a Bible to me. I had no intention of doing injections during my pregnancy. But I was wrong. 12 months later my test for gestational diabetes was not so borderline and so my journey towards controlling it not only for my health, but for the health of my unborn baby began with classes, training, injections and constant monitoring of everything, not just for me but of the baby too. I now have to get checked yearly, as not only can it return, but with a family history, it’s something I have to consistently attend to.
Two terrifying instances where diabetes touched my life, both which affected me, and the most important people in the world to me – my father and my baby. It required a great deal of research, knowledge, will power and new habits to make sure that all of us dealt with this in some cases life-threatening condition.
Here are a few facts I bet you don’t know about diabetes and dental health: According to the CDC, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. But there are a few simple steps we can take to help prevent early gum disease:
- Make sure you visit your dentist. While your doctor and certified diabetes educator play an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist.
- Follow healthy dental habits at home. Research shows that brushing twice a day with Colgate Total® toothpaste can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.
- Take action! Visit OralHealthAndDiabetes.com for more information and helpful oral care tips.
Colgate Total and the American Diabetes Association launched a new campaign called “Watch Your Mouth!” to help raise awareness surrounding the often-overlooked link between oral health and diabetes. Let this infographic help with finding out more about the connection between diabetes and dental health and what you can do about it.
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