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.