November is National Diabetes Month!

November is National Diabetes Month, where health professionals and advocates across the US come together to increase awareness about diabetes, the seventh leading cause of death in the US. This year’s focus is on preventing diabetes and prediabetes, which affects about 88 million US adults. Many people are unaware of the connections between oral health and diabetes. People at risk for diabetes or who are diabetic are vulnerable to oral health complications, such as periodontitis. There is a relationship between glycemic control and risk for periodontal disease: people with diabetes who have poor blood sugar control are at higher risk for periodontal disease. Conversely, people with periodontal disease have worse metabolic control.Health professionals need to be able to educate their at-risk patients about the oral-systemic connection in diabetes and best oral care practices. Health literacy tools such as OHNEP's Oral Health and Diabetes fact sheets in English and Spanish can be provided to patients to educate them about the importance of their oral health in preventing and managing diabetes.Click here to read "Oral Health and Diabetes" from American Nurse Today to learn more about how providers can promote oral health in patients with prediabetes or diabetes.