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Dr Hiba Abu Al Nasar, specialist prosthodontist at Al Dhafra Dental Center — Ambulatory Healthcare Services. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: A patient with uncontrolled diabetes not only reclaimed his smile, but his health as well — thanks to the help extended to him by the Abu Dhabi Health Services Company (Seha).

Recounting this heart-warming story, a Seha spokesperson said: “The patient presented with progressive periodontitis, severe teeth mobility and missing teeth. He was provided with a removable complete denture prosthesis and an implantation had to be postponed since his diabetes could potentially hamper the wound-healing process. His unhealthy eating habits and lack of physical exercise were worsening his diabetes. The patient was unaware that diabetes could affect teeth and bone quality. Upon encouragement, he has made several positive changes to his lifestyle to overcome the condition."

Patient loses five kilos

“One year on, not only could we give him a fixed implant prosthesis, a better smile and chewing efficiency, but also motivation and encouragement to make healthier lifestyle choices, resulting in a five kg drop in weight. It’s heartening to see that as dentists, we are in a position to go beyond just providing someone with better dental care and instead be motivators towards aiding them to adopt a healthier lifestyle,” Dr Hiba Abu Al Nasar, specialist prosthodontist at Al Dhafra Dental Center — Ambulatory Healthcare Services, said.

The patient, before treatment. Image Credit: Supplied
The patient, after treatment. Image Credit: Supplied

This story demonstrates how our dental hygiene and oral health have a direct impact on our physical health and why diabetes, if not managed, can have serious repercussions on oral and bone health.

Poor dental hygiene linked to poor sugar control

Dr Al Nasr pointed out that diabetes, if not properly controlled can weaken white blood cells, which are key in fending off oral bacterial infections. “Additionally, patients with uncontrolled diabetes consume multiple medications for underlying diseases such as hypertension, kidney and heart diseases. These medications, coupled with old age, as with this patient, can lead to dry mouth — a risk factor for caries and subsequent tooth loss. Uncontrolled diabetes, therefore, can cause multiple complications with teeth and can rob patients of their confidence. Working with dental health specialists can largely help patients with diabetes in smiling more confidently. This success story also brings to light that the role of dentists in diabetic care is evolving,” Dr Al Nasr added.

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‘Overall healthy lifestyle’

Dr Ahmed Yousuf Al Hefny, acting manager for Al Dhafra Dental — Ambulatory Healthcare Service Centre added: “At Seha, our Dentistry Department offers patients a wide spectrum of speciality care in areas such as endodontics, orthodontics, implantology, prosthodontics, implantology and oral surgery to name a few. The breadth of our practise allows us to meet a wide range of patients, which presents us with several opportunities to motivate and encourage our patients to work towards achieving the bigger picture — one that transcends just oral health and extends into an overall healthy lifestyle.”

Dr Ahmed emphasised: “According to the World Health Organisation, projections show that by 2045, some 700 million people will be living with diabetes across the globe. Tackling diabetes effectively requires a holistic approach, which is why it is so important for people with diabetes to adopt a healthier lifestyle, as well as effectively manage their condition.”