So what does diabetes or being a diabetic have to do with your teeth? Plenty! Almost 30 million in the United States alone suffer from diabetes. It affects your your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body.
But what about your teeth? You have millions of tiny bacteria that live in your mouth and affect your teeth and gums. This could result in Periodontal disease, which an inflammatory disease that, left unchecked, can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.
Periodontal disease is one of the more common dental diseases affecting diabetics. Nearly 22% of those diagnosed with diabetes suffer from this gum disease as well. As we age, poor blood sugar control can increase the risk for gum problems. And as with all infections, serious gum disease can cause blood sugar to rise.
So what can you do to prevent this? Regular visits to your dentist are important. Research has shown that treating gum disease can help in controlling blood sugar. Practicing good oral hygiene and having cleanings done at your dental office can even help in lowering your A1C numbers.
According to the American Dental Association, here are some things you can do for a healthier smile:
- Control your blood sugar levels. Use your diabetes-related medications as directed, changing to a healthier diet and even exercising more can help. Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
- Avoid smoking.
- If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.
- Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and clean between your daily.
- See your dentist for regular checkups.
If you suffer from diabetes and haven’t seen us lately, give us a call at 423-870-5698 or email us at brogdondentalpc@gmail com. We are here to help.
While it should not take the place of daily brushing and flossing, mouthwash is good to add to your daily oral hygiene routine. The benefit of using a mouthwash is that it can reach areas not easily accessed by a toothbrush.
Basically there are two types of mouthwash: cosmetic and therapeutic. Cosmetic mouthwash may temporarily control bad breath and leave behind a pleasant taste. If it doesn’t contain any ingredients that can kill bacteria, it would be considered cosmetic. Therapeutic mouthwashes on the other hand, contain ingredients that control or reduce conditions like bad breath, gingivitis, plaque, and tooth decay.
When choosing a mouthwash, be sure to look for the ADA Seal of Approval. Mouthwashes offer additional benefits such as reducing the risk of bad breath, cavities, or gum disease; or for relief of dry mouth or pain from oral sores
Remember, children younger than the age of 6 should not use mouthwash because of the risk of swallowing.
So use your mouthwash, either before or after brushing. Your teeth, mouth and gums will feel better for it.
There is a relationship between our teeth, gum and body. Our body is considered an ecosystem and our mouth is the main entrance to it. What goes through our mouths and into our body determines many of the diseases we contract.
Each tooth is surrounded by gums that create a seal that controls the bacteria that enters our body. If we fail to take care of this seal, and allow it to be weakened, we open the door for all kinds of things to enter our bloodstream causing a myriad of problems.
According to OraGuard, Ltd, listed below are of some diseases that we can develop as a result of bacteria entering the body through the mouth and gums:
Oral bacteria can enter the bloodstream and attack the friendly bacteria in your gut. And that’s when your digestive issues begin to worsen.
- Breast cancer
Women may be 11 times more likely to develop breast cancer due to lack of good oral care.
- Prostate cancer
Research has shown that men with indicators of periodontal disease and prostatitis have higher levels of PSA than men with only one of these conditions.
Serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.
- Weight gain
Oral health, diabetes, and obesity are intertwined and inflammation is at the core of this complex interaction
- Alzheimer’s and dementia
Research shows gum disease bacteria lipopolysaccharides (the surface of the bacterium) in samples from people suffering from dementia and none of the people who do not have the condition.
- Cardiovascular disease including stroke, heart attack, infective endocarditis, and thickening of the arteries
When bacteria reach the heart, they can attach themselves to any damaged area and cause inflammation.
- Low birthweight and premature birth
Periodontal health also plays a key role in a healthy pregnancy. Research suggests that pregnant women with gum disease are at higher risk for pre-term and low birth weight deliveries.
- Bacterial pneumonia
Bacterial infections in the chest are believed to be caused by breathing droplets from the mouth and throat into the lungs.
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Those who had moderate to severe periodontitis had more than twice the risk of RA compared to those with mild or no periodontitis
We don’t realize how important our oral health is in relation to a healthy body, but we need to think about not only what we put in our mouths, but how we take care of our mouths, which includes our teeth and gums. Good oral health is not only brushing your teeth and visiting your dentist, but don’t forgot to do this as well.
Contact our office at Brogdon Dental to set up your cleaning today.
Have you heard that chewing gum can be beneficial to your dental health? Studies show that chewing sugarless gum for 20 minutes following meals can help prevent tooth decay.
A 2015 study published in the journal PLoS ONE states, chewing gum for up to 10 minutes can remove 100 million bacteria, or 10% of the microbial load in saliva.
Chewing gum also has an interesting history. According to wrigley.com…
People worldwide have chewed on natural materials for hundreds of years. Some of these materials include thickened resin and latex from certain types of trees, various sweet grasses, leaves, grains and waxes.
The ancient Greeks chewed mastic gum (or mastiche, pronounced “mas-tee-ka”) for centuries. This substance is formed from the resin contained in the bark of the mastic tree found mainly in Greece and Turkey. Grecian women favored chewing mastic gum to clean their teeth and sweeten their breath.
The Indians of New England taught American colonists to quench their thirsts by chewing the gum-like resin that forms on spruce trees when its bark is cut. In the early 1800’s, lumps of this spruce gum were sold in the eastern United States, making it America’s first commercial chewing gum. Sweetened paraffin wax became an acceptable alternative around 1850 and eventually surpassed spruce gum in popularity.
Chewing sugar free gum can help your teeth in a number of ways. It increases the production of saliva, which helps neutralize plaque acids, it can help clean away food debris, can strengthen teeth, and can reduce the problems associated with dry mouth. Besides all that, it freshens your breath and tastes good too!
When choosing a sugar free gum it helps to look for the American Dental Association’s Seal of Acceptance.
There are many reasons to see your dentist for dental cleanings and its not just to keep your smile looking bright. One of those reasons could be your breath.
Some of the causes of bad breath include:
- Food We Eat
- Infrequent Brushing and Flossing
- Oral Diseases and Infections
- Dry Mouth
- Cigarette Smoking
- Medical Conditions
Some of the things you can do to prevent bad breath is to brush and floss at least two times a day, especially after a meal that contains foods that are known to cause bad breath. Also consider the use of a tongue scraper. Rinse thoroughly with water or mouthwash afterwards.
If your bad breath is caused by smoking, take steps to stop. This can also help combat periodontal disease. If you experience dry mouth, try sipping water throughout the day and during meals. Chew sugar-free gum or dissolve sugar-free candy in your mouth to help produce more saliva.
Gum, mints, mouthwashes and breath sprays are just temporary measures to mask your bad breath. Make sure that you call our office at Brogdon Dental to schedule an appointment for a complete examination of your teeth and gums and a thorough cleaning by our hygienist. We recommend you visit our office every six months for routine cleaning.
Although summer may be coming to a close, temperatures continue to soar in to the upper 90’s. The end of summer has many students heading back to school. With the beginning of the new school year brings the start of high school athletics. Many kids will participate in practices, especially football, in the late afternoon heat after classes. The need to maintain adequate hydration is essential, especially considering the many problems it can cause. Failure to drink enough fluids before physical activity can result in serious issues.
One of the first warning signs of dehydration is dry mouth. You may find that you have trouble swallowing, and others may notice that you have bad breath, which is one of the problems associated with a dry mouth. If your mouth is not producing enough saliva it can become an breeding ground for bacteria. This bacteria causes infections that may lead to cavities and gingivitis.
We need sufficient saliva in our mouths to wash away food debris and reduce plaque, which is why severe tooth decay and gum disease can occur if dry mouth is left untreated. According to the Oral Cancer Foundation, 30 percent of all tooth decay in older adults is caused by dry mouth. (www.toothwisdom.org)
Besides drinking plenty of water and brushing and flossing daily; chewing sugar free gum or sucking on sugar free mints can help fight dry mouth since they stimulates saliva production. Products that contain xylitol (a sugar substitute) can actually help prevent cavities.
As the temperatures still continue to rise, keep a check on your hydration. If you feel thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Experts recommend at least a gallon (eight 8-ounce glasses) of water per day. Dehydration effects every part of your body including your oral health. Keep drinking water.
Are you over 60 and finding that you’re suddenly getting cavities when you haven’t had them in years? As we get older, many people start experiencing cavity prone years again. One common cause of cavities in older adults is dry mouth. Dry mouth is not a normal part of aging. It’s a side-effect of many medications, including those prescribed for allergies or asthma, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pain, anxiety or depression, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases.
According to the American Dental Association here are some recommendations for relief from dry mouth:
- Use over-the-counter oral moisturizers, such as a spray or mouthwash.
- Consult with your physician on whether to change the medication or dosage.
- Drink more water. Carry a water bottle with you, and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink. Your mouth needs constant lubrication.
- Use sugar-free gum or lozenges to stimulate saliva production.
- Get a humidifier to help keep moisture in the air.
- Avoid foods and beverages that irritate dry mouths, like coffee, alcohol, carbonated soft drinks, and acidic fruit juices.
- Your dentist may apply a fluoride gel or varnish to protect your teeth from cavities.
It’s important to tell Dr. Brogdon about any medications that you’re taking. We can make recommendations to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms and in turn prevent cavities.