Thursday, November 19, 2009

Who is a “Pre-Diabetic"?

"Pre-Diabetic" is a term that refers to people exhibiting signs and symptoms of glucose intolerance, near-diabetic blood sugar levels and/or high risk of developing diabetes due to family history, obesity and other medical conditions. There are approximately 50 million yet undiagnosed diabetics and pre-diabetics in America, with that number growing by leaps and bounds.
A pre-diabetic has a very good chance of preventing or long-delaying transition to diabetic, and there-fore warding off the heightened risk of many other serious medical problems worsened by diabetes, IF the person takes aggressive and comprehensive action. Such preventive measures typically include weight loss, changes in diet, addition or modification of exercise, all usually recommended by physicians. However, another preventive measure not so commonly understood or recommended, but significantly helpful, starts with a visit to the office of a dentist thoroughly knowledgeable about the special needs of diabetic patients!
Chances are very high that the pre-diabetic has dental health problems contributing to his rising, poorly controlled blood sugar levels. Early intervention can actually reverse the development and progression of pre-diabetes and even diabetes. If you know yourself to be pre-diabetic or even suspect you may be, based on symptoms, see your dentist ASAP.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Are Your Teeth Getting Bigger?

Signs and symptoms of periodontal (gum) disease include bleeding gums; red, swollen, or tender gums; gums that have pulled away from your teeth (this makes your teeth look bigger); pus between the gums when they are compressed; persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth; permanent teeth that are loose or moving apart; any change in the way the teeth fit together when the patient bites; and any change in the fit of dentures. Most people with diabetes do not experience pain with periodontal disease, however, and some can have periodontal disease and be asymptomatic (no symptoms).
People with diabetes are three times more likely than persons without diabetes to have destructive periodontal disease (gum disease), such as periodontitis. Periodontal disease progresses more rapidly and often is more severe in individuals with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes.
Gum disease is a bacterially induced chronic inflammatory disease that destroys non-calcified connective tissue and bone supporting the teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Recent research suggests a two-way connection between diabetes and periodontal disease. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to periodontal disease, but the presence of periodontal disease can worsen blood sugar control. In fact, proper care of the mouth can help people with diabetes achieve better blood sugar control.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Steps diabetic patients can take to ensure optimal dental care

• Find a dentist who is aware of the needs of diabetic patients.
• See the dentist on a regular basis and alert him or her of any changes in health status and medications.
• Inform the dentist of any sores, swellings, or areas of redness in the mouth, as well as any painful areas in the mouth.
• Eat a normal meal prior to the dental appointment, take all diabetic medications on schedule, bringing a blood sugar monitoring device to the appointment, and inform the dentist if symptoms associated with low blood sugar are felt.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

20 Million Diabetics...are you one?

It is estimated that up to 20 million people have diabetes, but only two-thirds of these individuals are diagnosed. Studies have shown that diabetics are more susceptible to the development of oral infections and periodontal (gum) disease than those who do not have diabetes. Oral infections tend to be more severe in diabetic patients than non-diabetic patients. And, diabetics who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels tend to have more oral health problems. These infections occur more often after puberty and in aging patients

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Who Else Has Diabetes ...And... Gum Problems?

So, is there really a connection between diabetes and gum disease? Well, the clinical documentation says: "Yes!" -- diabetes lowers your body's resistance to infection, and the gums are among the first tissues likely to be affected. Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place. Periodontal disease is often linked to the control of diabetes. For example, patients with inadequate blood sugar control appear to develop periodontal disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than persons who have good control of their diabetes.
It is possible to have periodontal disease and not have all of the warning signs. If you notice any of the warning signs of gum disease, see your dentist immediately. Because of lowered resistance and a longer healing process, periodontal diseases often appear to be more frequent and more severe among persons with diabetes. That's why good maintenance of blood sugar levels, a well-balanced diet that meets your needs, good oral care at home, regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are important.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Why Do Diabetics Need Regular Dental Check-Ups?

Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissues that support your teeth. It is possible to have periodontal disease and have no warning signs. That is one reason why regular dental checkups and periodontal examinations are very important. Treatment methods depend upon the type of disease and how far the condition has progressed. Good oral hygiene at home is essential to help keep periodontal disease from becoming more serious or recurring. You don't have to lose teeth to periodontal disease. Brush, clean between your teeth, eat a balanced diet, and schedule regular dental visits for a lifetime of healthy smiles.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

There Is A War Going On In Your Mouth!

There are more than 300 different species of bacteria attacking your gums and teeth 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Any of these can lead to inflammation and infection. Any of these can launch or worsen gum problems. Diabetics are predisposed to bacterial infections, so the dangers to you are much greater than for others. And all the brushing, flossing and WaterPiks® in the world are just not enough to stop these bacterial toxins waging war on your mouth.
If you have gum problems, it may not be as simple as having a "bad flossing disease" - and in your dentist's office, you won't get a finger-wagging, sharp voiced lecture on flossing! We understand that these bacteria and bacterial infections thrive on the sugars you have trouble regulating, and that you need a multi-faceted treatment approach including our help to win this war!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Shocking Truth About Diabetes and Dental Cavities

Do you think people with diabetes are at a greater risk for dental cavities? One group of dentists believes that high glucose levels in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes helps bacteria thrive, which leads to the development of cavities as well as sets you up for gum disease. Also, the fact that diabetic patients tend to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day may mean there is a greater chance for bacteria to grow and lead to dental cavities. Another group of dentists believe that because people with diabetes are more knowledgeable about what they eat and the need to closely monitor their sugar intake, they don't eat many foods that contain cavity-causing sugars. The fact is that people whose diabetes is well controlled have no more tooth decay or periodontal disease than persons without diabetes. Here's the bottom line: Good oral hygiene and maintenance of blood sugar within the accepted range are the best protections against cavity formation and periodontal disease!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

The "Closed Loop" Between Dental Care and Diabetes

A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General outlined the direct connections between gum diseases and dental care and diabetes. First, the evidence clearly shows that gum disease occurs more than twice as often in people with diabetes as for non-diabetics, and that it is much harder for diabetics to control.
Second, diabetes can aggravate, worsen and accelerate gum disease -- which in turn, makes it more difficult to control blood sugar levels. Gum disease includes infections, which can increase your body's resistance to insulin and make your diabetes increasingly difficult to control. An enemy of blood sugar control is gum disease. An enemy of healthy gums and teeth is uncontrolled blood sugar levels: "The Closed Loop".

Friday, August 7, 2009

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Dental Care?

Did you know that diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth? Periodic dental care is necessary for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars. The less controlled your blood sugar is, the more likely dental problems will arise. Here's why: Uncontrolled diabetes impairs white blood cells, which are the body's main defense against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth.

Another complication of diabetes, besides impairing white blood cells, is that it causes your blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to (and waste products from) body tissues, including the mouth. When this combination of events happens, the body's ability to fight infections is reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

No Matter What You Have Heard...Not All Dentists Are the Same

A report published in The Journal of Contemporary Dental Practice flatly stated: "The dental profession is SEVERELY LACKING in this (diabetes care) knowledge base at a time when the disease is nearing epidemic proportions." If you are a diabetic, You NEED a dentist thoroughly knowledgeable about YOUR special needs.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

How Diabetics Are Chewing Sugarless Gum to Avoid "Dry Mouth"

We all know saliva helps wash away food particles and keeps your mouth moist. Without adequate saliva, bacteria continue to colonize. A dry mouth is a common complaint among diabetic dental patients. Constant dryness irritates the soft tissues in the mouth, often making them inflamed and painful. This condition greatly increases the risk of tooth decay and periodontal diseases. Your dentist may recommend a saliva substitute that can be used for relief from dry mouth discomfort. Your dentist may also recommend rinsing with a fluoride mouth rinse or having a topical application of fluoride at home and in the dental office to help prevent rampant tooth decay. These products are sold over-the-counter at pharmacies. Using sugarless gum, sugarless mints, taking frequent sips of water (or using melting ice chips) may help alleviate a dry mouth. Restricting intake of caffeine and alcohol also can help!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

How Inadequate Gum and Dental Care Can Kill You Now...And Not Later

How is heart disease and stroke DIRECTLY linked to gum disease? The surface of healthy mucous membrane in the mouth is rich with antibodies called 'immunoglobulins' that protect you from bacteria and viruses. These 'immunoglobulins' are your soldiers, your infantry, and your troops on the ground. Unfortunately, as you age, your body manufactures less and less of them, so you have less and less resistance to the 300 different kinds of bacteria (the enemy troops).
But the biggest danger is oral bacteria entering the bloodstream through the gums (even a tiny, microscopic gum tear). The bacteria can then move directly through the carotid arteries to the brain. This very same bacterial plaque that causes gum disease can trigger the arteries to swell...causing blood flow constriction that sharply increases risk of stroke and heart disease. Further, never forget the closed loop: Gum disease worsens diabetes and all the deadly complications that come with it. These include: Stroke, heart disease, severe neuropathy leading to amputations of hands, feet and limbs.

Monday, July 6, 2009

How to Choose a Toothbrush if you are Diabetic

The main thing to look for in your next toothbrush is soft bristles. Both adults and children should use a toothbrush that has soft bristles because harder bristles may cause gum tissue to pull back from teeth. This can expose the tooth root and lead to increased sensitivity to hot, cold, and sweet foods and beverages. Even worse, receding gum tissue can eventually lead to tooth loss if not prevented or treated. Be sure to select a toothbrush head size that can easily fit into the mouth and is capable of brushing one to two teeth at a time. With this in mind, be sure to select a toothbrush with a very small head for a very young child or infant. If you are unsure of what features to look for or the best bristle head design for cleaning your teeth's unique contours and alignment, be sure to ask your dentist or hygienist for assistance. Toothbrushes should be replaced about every three months or earlier if the bristles begin to look worn or frayed -- bristles that fan out or spread is a sign that it is time to get a new toothbrush!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Gum Disease Occurs More Than Twice As Often Among People with Diabetes

A recent medical research study reported in Diabetes Care made it clear that the consequences of diabetes go far beyond bleeding gums, eating difficulties and tooth loss. Gum disease substantially worsens risks of heart disease and stroke - already worsened by diabetes.
Also, a higher death rate from diabetic kidney disease was also linked to the severe degrees of gum disease. In short, one of the best things you can do to reduce your risks of or delay the onset of heart or kidney disease as a diabetic is get your gum and dental health under control.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Common spice can help control blood sugar

Ordinary cinnamon has shown great promise in clinical studies as a possible treatment of Type II Diabetes. A recent clinical study published in the Diabetes Care journal has revealed that the ingestion of a mere half-teaspoon of cinnamon every day significantly reduced the level of blood sugar in those with diabetes.

In addition, the same study found that cinnamon was able to reduce triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in the same study participants. The results of this study demonstrate that the inclusion of cinnamon in the diet of people with Type II Diabetes will reduce risk factors associated with diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
In other clinical studies, cinnamon has been shown to be a powerful anti-microbial agent, one that has the ability to kill germs as E. coli and other harmful bacteria. As a side note, there is new evidence that cinnamon may be helpful in the prevention of tooth decay and gum disease