Recently, the number of patients with diabetes in their 20s and 30s has been increasing rapidly. According to the National Health Insurance Corporation, the number increased by 34.8% from 100,000 in 2015 to 135,000 in 2019.
‘Dangcharging’, which relieves stress with a sweet taste, has become a daily routine among young people. Especially in the hot summer months, thirst is often quenched by consuming high-sugar snacks such as carbonated drinks and ice cream. In fact, sugar intake has the effect of temporarily lowering stress by promoting the happiness hormones serotonin and dopamine.
However, it is not recommended to consume too much sugar beyond the level for relieving stress. Diabetes has complications, one of which is periodontal disease (gum disease). Experts say that if you have diabetes, you are twice as likely to develop periodontal disease.
High blood sugar due to diabetes… Swelling of the gums and increased bacterial growth
Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar is not properly controlled. If you have diabetes, it makes the blood sticky, impairing smooth blood circulation and adversely affecting your overall health. When blood sugar levels are high, substances that cause inflammation in the gums increase, making it easy to develop periodontal disease, in which the gums become swollen and bleed. In addition, as diabetes progresses, sugar that cannot be absorbed by the body is excreted in the urine, and a large amount of water is lost at this time. As a result, the body becomes dehydrated and saliva dries out, which can lead to the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity, which can lead to periodontal disease.
‘Acute periodontitis’ meets diabetes and progresses faster
In the case of young patients, diabetes is often thought of only as a hereditary or geriatric disease, and they are often unaware of it. Because of this, the disease is detected late, and periodontal disease, a complication, is also easily neglected. In particular, periodontal disease occurring before the age of 40 is highly likely to progress to radical periodontitis. Acute periodontitis progresses 4 to 5 times faster than chronic periodontitis, so it is often detected after symptoms worsen. Diabetes accelerates the progression of periodontal disease and increases the risk of tooth loss.
Park Dae-yoon, president of Udido Cancer Dental Clinic, said, “Radical periodontitis can be diagnosed through panoramic X-ray imaging. It is important to detect and prevent periodontal disease at an early stage through regular oral examinations along with blood sugar control.”
Dietary fiber intake, moderate exercise, and regular scaling required
High-fat and high-calorie diets, lack of exercise, and excessive stress are among the reasons for the increase in the number of young diabetic patients. These habits can have a direct impact on oral health, so improvement is needed. Foods rich in dietary fiber, such as kelp, radish, and barley, which are in season in summer, help to keep blood sugar levels stable, and fiber helps to clean teeth. Light exercise is better than looking for sweet food. Exercise helps relieve stress by forming endorphins, and increases the body’s immunity to prevent oral diseases.
CEO Park Dae-yoon said, “The best habit to keep oral health is correct brushing and regular scaling. If you brush your teeth thoroughly after eating and take good care of your mouth, it is recommended that you visit the dentist for scaling once or twice a year and once every three months for diabetic patients,” he said.
Reporter Jeong-myung Roh, Consumer Economic Daily