Contact Us Today!

Tag: periodontitis

May 20, 2014
Periodontitis Graphic

Graphic showing periodontitis near the tooth

Gum Disease is an infection by germs in the gums around your teeth. It is one of the most common infections in people throughout the world. In its more serious form – known as “periodontitis” – the infection is long lasting. The soft gums and bone around the teeth dissolve over time. This can lead to the loss of teeth. One-half of the U.S. Population 30 years and older has periodontitis, as do 60% of those over 60.

Periodontitis raises blood sugar and may lead to type 2 (Adult Onset) Diabetes

People with diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes, have more gum disease than those without diabetes. Now, scientists are finding that the sum disease raises blood sugar levels in people both with, and without diabetes.. At a recent meeting of the top dental and diabetes researchers from around the world, scientists looked closely at the latest research into how gum disease affects humans. They found that, compared with those having healthy gums, people with periodontal disease:

  1. have higher long-term blood sugar levels
  2. have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  3. have a higher risk of developing pregnancy diabetes
  4. have a harder time controlling their type 2 diabetes
  5. are at a higher risk of experiencing harm to eyes and kidneys, as well as heart attack and stroke

How does gum disease make blood sugar levels go up?

Scientists think that the germs that infect gums leak into the blood stream after normal activities like chewing or toothbrushing. This starts a reaction from your body’s defense system, which, in turn, produces some powerful molecules that have harmful eFfects all over your body. Pert of this is raising your blood sugar levels.

Can gum disease treatment help control your diabetes or tendency to become diabetic? YES! The good news is that in people with type 2 diabetes, treatment of periodontitis (for example, deep cleaning and scaling, laser decontamination, etc.) can lead to a drop in their blood sugar levels. The benefit is similar to what you might find if you added another medication to your diabetes medicine.

What you can do!

  2. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled brush and a fluoride toothpaste.
  3. Clean between your teeth with floss or another interdental cleaner daily.
  4. Visit your dentist regularly for checkups and cleanings.
  5. Make sure your dentist checks your gums and measures the spacing between your teeth and gums looking for gum disease.

Whether you have type 2 diabetes or not, keeping your gums healthy can help you control this disease or your tendency towards it, as well as lower your risk of experiencing blindness, kidney disease, heart and stroke problems. The latest research on links between gum disease and diabetes, stroke, etc. show how important it is to have healthy gums. HAVING A HEALTHY MOUTH IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF GOOD OVERALL HEALTH!

Posted in Articles by San Marcos Dental Center | Tags: , ,
May 9, 2014

Chances are good that a person prone to gum disease – especially those with moderate to severe periodontitis – may also have systemic medical conditions related to a compromised immune system.

At a recent meeting of the European Federation of Periodontology and the American Academy of Periodontology, a panel of experts reviewed the existing evidence linking periodontal disease to a person’s health. Their conclusions were published and made public in a special supplement release in April of this year. They concluded the following:

Image Simulating Healthy vs. Unhealthy Gums

Image Simulating Healthy vs. Unhealthy Gums

  • Diabetics -There exists emerging evidence that periodontal disease adversely affects glycemic control (sugar control) in people with type 2 (adult onset) diabetes and raises blood glucose levels in non-diabetics, as well as promotes the development of new type 2 diabetics. It also causes complications in both type 2 and type 1 (juvenile) diabetics with their medications.
  • Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease (ACVD) – There is a strong association between periodontal bacteria and ACVD. Studies show the presence of live and viable periodontal bacteria in the lesions causing this disease. Periodontal treatment such as regular cleanings, deep scalings, laser decontaminations, and periodontal surgery reduces this systemic infestation, decreasing also the levels of inflammation and C-reactive protein that break down the inner linings of your blood vessels.
  • Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes – Although more modest than the above, epidemiologic studies show there may be possible associations between maternal periodontitis and low birth weight, preterm birth and preeclampsia.

Association or Causality? A multitude of study findings demonstrate that periodontal disease is associated with major health issues and especially Diabetes, ACVD and Pregnancy. However, these studies do not reveal whether one causes the other. What has been shown through several well-designed longitudinal studies is that periodontitis preceeds the other systemic conditions and that the chances good that periodontal pathogens contribute to the cumulative bacterial burden that subsequently causes these conditions to be expressed.

What This Means? There is ample evidence that utilizing good oral health habits along with regular maintenance visits at your dentist’s office are safe and effective ways to keep the level of bacteria lowered in our bloodstream, thus preventing infection and inflammation that are associated with major health diseases.

So… don’t forget to look for that canary when you visit your dentist!

Posted in Articles by San Marcos Dental Center | Tags: ,