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Diabetes, Biomin and oral health issues

by adminjay

Dr Aylin Baysan is campaigning to raise awareness of the issues surrounding diabetes and oral health, and researching the benefits of Biomin F for people with diabetes.

Diabetes affects a staggering 4.9 million people in the UK – and the figures are rising. According to the charity Diabetes UK, if nothing changes, that figure will rise to 5.5 million by 2030.

About 90% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. Additionally, it is estimated that around 850,000 people are going around unaware they have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes.

Poorly controlled diabetes gives rise to a number of oral complications. For example, diabetics suffering twice as much tooth loss as those without the condition.

The commonest oral health problems associated with diabetes include:

  • Periodontal (gum) disease and bone loss in the jaw
  • Dry mouth/lack of saliva
  • Tooth decay (caries)
  • Increased oral infections, eg thrush
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Irritation and soreness in the mouth
  • Difficulty in wearing dentures due to dryness and irritation
  • Taste impairment
  • Tooth loss.

Reducing the impact

The good news is that with the right lifestyle interventions – such as diet, physical activity and sustained weight loss – the risk of developing diabetes can be cut by up to 50%.

Dr Aylin Baysan, reader in cariology in relation to Minimally Invasive Dentistry (MID) in the Centre for Oral Bioengineering at Barts and the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London (QMUL), is an expert on dental caries (decay).

She is passionate about reducing the impact of diabetes on oral health. Through her podcast and other initiatives, she is campaigning nationally and in her local area to raise awareness of the issues around diabetes and oral health.

‘High blood glucose, especially over a long duration, increases the sugar content in saliva. This causes an increase in the oral microbes that produce acid,’ she explained.

‘The acid then attacks the teeth and gums and can cause infection. As a consequence this infection can destroy the gums and bones around the teeth.’

A dry mouth can also increase acidity in the mouth and contribute to mineral loss on the tooth surface (demineralisation), in turn leading to dental decay. Another important point is that diabetics who wear dentures can potentially suffer from soreness and ulceration, if there is not enough saliva to lubricate the points of contact.

There is a two-way relationship between diabetes and gum (periodontal) problems. Gum recession is common in periodontal disease or as part of the ageing process, explained Dr Baysan.  Following gum recession, it can expose root surfaces and root decay can follow. ‘Root decay is more complex and also very challenging to treat,’ she warned.

Key dental advice for diabetes:

  • Regular dental care should be part of your diabetes management
  • Have regular dental checkups
  • Don’t ignore symptoms of gum disease or infections, such as redness, soreness and bad breath
  • Eat a healthy balanced diet
  • Clean your teeth thoroughly twice daily with fluoride toothpaste – try Biomin F!
  • Talk to your dentist about things you can do to prevent problems, such as using mouthwash, trying different toothpastes, etc
  • Use interdental cleaning aids such as floss or interdental brushes (ask your dentist for advice)
  • Clean your dentures thoroughly if worn and remove them at night if possible
  • Ensure your dentures fit well and have regular denture maintenance checks
  • Avoid smoking.

Reduces acidity

Biomin F toothpaste can help with many aspects of oral healthcare for diabetic patients. It has a unique formulation, whereby calcium, phosphate and fluoride are incorporated within the structure of the toothpaste. After you brush with Biomin F, it attaches to the surface of the teeth. There, it gradually dissolves over several hours, releasing the bioactive ingredients.

These work with the saliva in the mouth to lay down fluorapatite (FAP), which closely resembles natural tooth enamel. Conventional toothpastes, based on soluble fluoride, are rinsed away by saliva within approximately an hour, even at high concentrations, but Biomin F has been shown to continue to be having its effects for up to 12 hours.

Brushing with Biomin F has also been shown in trials to reduce acidity in the mouth. It replenishes natural tooth mineral and strengthens it against decay. It has in addition a ‘smart’ feature – getting to work more quickly in the presence of acid in the mouth. Dr Baysan is currently studying the effect of BioMin F in the treatment of early root decay.

Oral health mission

As part of QMUL’s public engagement programme, Dr Baysan presents a podcast on diabetes and oral health, and has also produced a comprehensive leaflet for the public. In addition, she runs oral health awareness events in the local East London community.

She and her colleagues discuss the importance of oral health and hand out oral hygiene information and products including Biomin F – which she uses personally. ‘My oral health mission is to reach the wider community with this project,’ she said.

‘I have given Biomin F to people with diabetes to try. The informal feedback I get from people at the oral health awareness events is very positive. I would now like to carry out a clinical trial to compare Biomin F with high fluoride prescribed toothpaste and regular fluoride toothpaste.’

Dr Baysan presents a podcast about oral health and diabetes: https://m.soundcloud.com/qmulofficial/sets/raising-awareness-in-oral

She has also launched a website to raise awareness:  https://www.qmul.ac.uk/dentistry/diabetes-hub/ where you can find her leaflet, ‘Maintaining good oral health when living with type 2 diabetes’.

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