Diabetes and Periodontal Disease – Are they epidemics?

Diabetes and periodontal disease: are they epidemics? Now that’s a good question! In fact that’s two good questions, so let’s take them one at a time.

Is diabetes reaching epidemic proportions?

  • There were approximately 246,000 deaths attributed to diabetes in 2012
  • Nearly 23 million Americans have type 1 or type 2 diabetes, up a whopping 8% from 2007’s 17.5 million
  • Total cost of diabetes was $245 billion in 2012, a 41% increase from the $174 billion spent in 2007
  • African-Americans, American Indians and Asian-Americans are all at a greater risk of developing diabetes than Caucasians; there could be a genetic link

Dr. John Anderson, president of medicine and science for the American Diabetes Association is troubled by the increasing costs associated with the disease. But what’s surprising, he says, is that the increased price isn’t due to rising health care costs. It’s due instead to the “sheer number” of Americans who have diabetes.

According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, kidney failure and blindness. If it’s not kept under control, diabetes also can cause infections that may lead to leg or foot amputations.

Is periodontal disease reaching epidemic proportions?

  • One out of every two American adults ≥30 years of age has periodontal disease
  • 47.2% or 64.7 million American adults have periodontal disease
  • 70.1% of Americans ≥65 years of age have periodontal disease
  • Periodontal disease is higher in men (56.4%) than it is in women (38.4%)
  • Highest in Mexican-Americans (66.7%) than it is in other races
  • High prevalence in smokers (64.2%)

Dr. Robert Genco, DDS, PhD. believes these findings elevate periodontal disease as a public health concern, stating, “We now know that periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent non-communicable diseases in our population similar to cardiovascular disease and diabetes.”

Are diabetes and periodontal disease epidemics? Perhaps not in the traditional sense of the word, they are however, endemic: widespread, prevalent and common. So what can we do when we are faced with a patient who has both? Join us for the June Hygiene Profits Mastermind Call on June 20 for some answers to that question.

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