Joey Fatone and 30 Days of Laughter
In an effort to raise awareness of the link between diabetes and gum disease, Joey Fatone (best known as member of N*SYNC) and Colgate Total have teamed up to bring about the 30 Days of Laughter program. Starting November 12th, there will be videos, memes, and apps dedicated to entertain and bring light to this often overlooked link.
Fatone is joined by three other comics who have long tried to put a humorously helpful spin on the disease, who are known by their colorful Twitter handles: Divabetic, Diabetesaliciousness, and Urban Jibaro.
Exploring the Link
Diabetes damages several systems in your body, including your mouth. Because diabetes effects how your cells handle insulin (which help break down sugars) there is a buildup of glucose in the blood. This buildup of glucose increases the risk for gum disease for a few reasons.
The condition actually changes the shape of the blood cells, thickening them to the point where they cannot get nutrients to areas such as the gums. This thickening also renders the cells unable to remove waste which can lead to infection.
The high level of glucose in the blood also serves as a veritable feast for the bacteria associated with gum disease. Obviously if you are trying to avoid gum disease (which you should!) the heightened blood sugar makes this difficult.
In addition to this, diabetics that also smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke are at a very high risk for developing gum disease. This is because cigarette smoke essentially dries out your mouth, reducing the amount of saliva and hindering your mouth’s ability to fight infection. It also further restricts circulation, making it even harder for your body to get nutrients to your gums.
It is extremely important that you monitor your blood sugar if you have diabetes. Diabetics who stay on top of their blood sugar have no more risk of developing gum disease than those who do not have the disease. You should also make sure to visit your dentist regularly and practice good dental hygiene in order to stay on top of your oral health. If you are at risk of losing teeth due to gum disease, you may want to consider dental implants.