Brush Away Diabetes

By Kristin Bjornsen

Gum disease may do more than ruin your beautiful smile—it may also increase your risk of type-2 diabetes. Researchers at Columbia University in New York City followed nearly 9,300 people for 17 years and found that those with moderate gum disease had more than twice the risk of developing type-2 diabetes than folks with healthy gums, while those with severe tooth loss had a 70 percent higher risk. The researchers theorize that the bacterial infection behind gum disease (which also raises your chances for heart disease and stroke) increases inflammation throughout the body, thus impairing insulin sensitivity. Now there’s even more reason to floss daily, brush twice a day, and see a dentist every six months for a cleaning.