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!