Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? 1 Cor. 6:15
Good dental and oral health is maintaining the proper health of the teeth, gums and tongue. Unbeknownst to many, oral health is the gateway to many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, pregnancy, osteoporosis, arthritis, lung conditions and obesity. However, In a startling study, the least visited doctor in the U.S, is the dentist. "... many Americans are simply skipping visits to the dentist. Overall, about 65 percent of us go to the dentist, but in some states, that number is much lower, even as low as 51.9 percent in Mississippi." (Myers 2012)
The reasons for not visiting the dentist range from cost, dental anxiety, fear of actually needing dental work, fear of the instruments being used, bad memories, and many are just not concerned because they lack the proper knowledge of the importance of dental health.
Listed above we see the many conditions that are linked to the negligence of proper oral health, because of the 382 million people who suffer from diabetes in the world, we will focus on that aspect. There are three main types of diabetes, Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes and Gestational diabetes.
Type 1 Diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin as a result of an auto-immune process with very sudden onset. People with this type of diabetes need insulin therapy to survive. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus"
Type 2 Diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as “non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus”. It can go unnoticed and undiagnosed for a long time. Those people affected are unaware of the long-term damage being caused by the disease.
Gestational Diabetes occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level; it can lead to serious risks to the mothers and her infant and increase the risk for developing type 2 diabetes later in life.(Martiner 2013)
" The working relationship between diabetes and periodontitis may be the strongest of all the connections between the mouth and body. Inflammation that starts in the mouth seems to weaken the body’s ability to control blood sugar. People with diabetes have trouble processing sugar because of a lack of insulin, the hormone that converts sugar into energy.
"Periodontal disease further complicates diabetes because the inflammation impairs the body’s ability to utilize insulin," says Pamela McClain, DDS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology. To further complicate matters, diabetes and periodontitis have a two-way relationship. High blood sugar provides ideal conditions for infection to grow, including gum infections. Fortunately you can use the gum disease-diabetes relationship to your favor: managing one can help bring the other under control." (Barker)
Oral health is significant to the overall health of an individual. A lack in one area is sure to develop a condition in another. Remembering that our bodies are the temples of God and understanding that God's temple is to be without blemish, spot or wrinkle, should urge us to take better care of our bodies and as well as our overall health. And, for that dental anxiety..." Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God [is] with thee whithersoever thou goest." Joshua 1:9 KJV
Barker, J. (n.d.). Oral Health: The Mouth-Body Connection. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.webmd.com/oral-health/features/oral-health-the-mouth-body- connection?page=3
Martiner. (2013, November 18). Prevalence of Diabetes in the World, 2013. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://healthintelligence.drupalgardens.com/content/prevalence-diabetes- world-2013
Myers, W. (2012, July 11). The Top 7 Reasons We Avoid the Dentist. Retrieved June 26, 2016, from http://www.everydayhealth.com/dental-health/the-top-reasons-we-avoid-the- dentist.aspx