The Shining Mountain Health and Wellness Program kicked off its 4-week Fall Diabetes & Wellness Education classes on Wednesday, Oct. 14.
The first class is in the books, and focused on dental health for diabetic patients. Shining Mountain teamed up with Southern Ute Dental Clinic to provide a class on Oral Manifestations of Diabetes.
Southern Ute Health Center general dentist Dr. Andrea Talley discussed the effect diabetes has on oral health.
“Things happen a lot faster in diabetes patients,” Talley said referring to the side effects of poor oral hygiene.
Complications associated with diabetes include periodontal diseases – gum disease –, dry mouth, oral thrush and tooth loss, to name a few.
One third of people with diabetes have periodontal gum disease, Talley said.
Talley provided tips on how to maintain good oral health: keeping a healthy blood sugar level, brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, visiting the dentist twice and year, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle – while avoiding sugary foods and drinks.
“Oral infections thrive on sugar,” she said.
Talley also encourages patients use soft-bristle toothbrushes: medium to hard bristled brushes can cause gum recession, she said. Talley also recommends switching out your toothbrush as soon as you notice the bristles fraying.
The next class will be held Wednesday, Oct. 21 at the SunUte Community Center from 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will focus on ‘Mind, Body & Soul’.