Know your risk
This exhibition enables you to assess your risk for developing oral diseases and diabetes using online tools. On display are figures made in response to common risk factors and a colourful representation of how people have varying and individual levels of risk for disease which may be outside their control such as age, ethnicity and genetics or lifestyle choices such as smoking, diet, exercise and alcohol.
Periodontitis (gum disease) and Type 2 diabetes are two common but potentially devastating diseases.
Periodontitis is largely caused by an over-reaction of your immune system to the presence of plaque (bacteria) where the gum and tooth surface meet. It slowly destroys the ligaments and bone which hold your teeth in place. It is a `quiet’ disease that you many not know you have, but signs that you may notice include bleeding gums, receding gums, bad breath and loose or wobbly teeth. Periodontitis cannot be cured but by identifying it early, its progress can be halted so you can keep your teeth for life. Apart from tooth loss, gum disease negatively affects nutrition, speech and quality of life and so is also linked to higher risk of conditions such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.
Type 2 diabetes. 90% of people in the UK with diabetes have type 2. For those with Type 2 diabetes, the insulin your pancreas makes either can’t work properly, or your pancreas can’t make enough insulin. Insulin allows the glucose in our blood to enter our cells and fuel our bodies. Without enough glucose in your cells, it is common to feel very tired. You may also need the toilet frequently, feel very thirsty and find cuts and grazes are slow to heal. As with periodontitis, many people don’t recognise the symptoms so do not get diagnosed until very late. And, over a long period of time, high sugar levels in your blood can seriously damage your heart, your eyes, your feet and your kidneys.
The key to prevention and control of both periodontitis and diabetes is early diagnosis and managing the factors that put you at risk.