Over 1.7 million Australians are living with Diabetes and a further 280 Australians develop Diabetes every day. That’s one Aussie diagnosed with diabetes every 5 minutes. You don’t have to be old. You don’t have to be overweight. But you will have to spend the rest of your life managing diabetes 24/7 if you are the 1 in 3 of Australian adults who will develop Diabetes in their lifetime. Prevention is the best cure, and this can start with a screening at your dentist.
Diabetes is a serious, progressive and complex condition that affects your whole body with serious complications. Diabetes puts you at greater risk of heart disease (including increasing your risk of heart attacks & stroke by up to 4 times), periodontal (gum) disease, kidney disease, depression, anxiety, amputation and blindness. It has a significant impact on quality of life and reduces life expectancy. For every person diagnosed with diabetes there is usually a family member or carer who also ‘lives with diabetes’ every day in a support role. This means that an estimated 2.4 million Australians are affected by diabetes every day.
Diabetes is a silent killer. A large number of people are living with undiagnosed Type 2 Diabetes, unaware of the damage it can be doing to their bodies. Further to this, 2 million Australians have Pre-Diabetes and are at high-risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. Strong evidence shows that Type 2 Diabetes can be prevented in up to 58 per cent of cases in the high-risk (Pre-Diabetes) population. Early detection of Diabetes, particularly in the Pre-Diabetes phase, can delay and in some cases even eliminate the onset of Type 2 Diabetes by allowing the individual to make lifestyle changes including regular physical activity, healthy eating and weight reduction.
Dentists can often be the first to detect undiagnosed Diabetes, with a number of oral signs and symptoms including periodontal (gum) disease, slow wound healing, low salivary flow and root surface decay. At Cannon Hill Dental, we also have an Accu-Chek Performa Blood Glucometre enabling us to check your Blood Glucose Level to assist with screening at risk patients. The screening is done in the mouth, without the need for a finger prick, making for a more accurate and virtually pain-free test performed in just seconds.
Diabetes is the fastest growing chronic disease in the world, and whilst there is currently no cure for the disease, there is hope for prevention of this global endemic with the promotion of healthier lifestyles. For further information, including a simple and easy way to assess your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes, visit the Diabetes Australia website: http://www.diabetesaustralia.com.au/; or have a chat with your dentist.