Hygiene Preventative Care
Overall Health and Gum Disease:
Recent studies have linked periodontal disease (gum and bone disease) with several serious health conditions: heart and stroke, respiratory diseases, diabetes, and premature and low birth weight babies. As with smoking, high cholesterol and obesity, gum disease may be a risk factor for these conditions. It is thought that the disease causing bacteria in periodontal disease travels through the blood stream contributing to or possibly causing health problems.
Most adults have some form of gum disease. A bacterial infection which usually starts in the gums (gingivitis) and if untreated, spreads to the bone (periodontitis). Eventual tooth loss will occur if this disease process is not treated.
The Heart and Gum Disease:
Studies suggest that the gum disease causing bacteria may travel through the bloodstream and add to the formation of plaque that clog the arteries. One U.S. study found a higher incidence of heart and stroke disease in patients with moderate to severe gum disease than those with healthy mouths.
The Lungs and Gum Disease:
Scientists believe that gum disease may increase the risk of lung infections and worsen existing conditions such as emphysema and bronchitis. This can result when the disease causing bacteria from the oral cavity is inhaled into the lungs.
What is Diabetes?
Diabetes is an immune deficiency disease associated with six health complications including periodontal disease as well as effecting areas such as eyes, kidneys, heart, nerves and poor wound healing.
Type II diabetes or non-insulin dependent diabetes was once thought to be a middle age disease but could present at any age! Diet, exercise and medications can control type II.
Type I or insulin-dependent diabetes affects primarily young people and is caused by the total absence of beta cells. Beta cells secrete insulin; a hormone that is essential in the breakdown of sugars (glucose). The body must be assisted with injections of insulin.
Did you know?
2.25 million cases of diabetes have been reported in Canada, 85-90% has type II or non-insulin dependent diabetes. And there are many cases that are undiagnosed!
How is Diabetes and Gum disease Related?
Both diseases are controlled NOT cured. Cells require sugar for energy, and in diabetes, insulin is defective and does not allow glucose to enter cells efficiently thus slowing down the healing process or causes cell death if no insulin is provided.
Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to bone-loss, tissue break down and tooth-loss even when there is little plaque and calculus (tartar). There is a greater risk of more aggressive bacteria causing abscesses and increased periodontal disease. Periodontal disease is associated with heart and circulatory disease. Uncontrolled diabetes is 3 times at risk for heart and circulatory disease, making the patient high risk for periodontal disease.
Controlled diabetes results in a decrease of oral inflammation. Diabetes should be controlled through proper diet and stable insulin levels. Well-controlled diabetics can have healthier gum tissues than non-diabetic patients due to lower sugar consumption.
Other complications in the mouth with poor sugar control. (Too much sugar in saliva)
- Dry mouth – relieved by chewing sugarless gum and lozenges
- Burning mouth or tongue
- Yeast infections/Thrush
- Canker sores/Oral Ulcers
- Poor taste/smell
- Pain orally and facially
- Lichen Planus
What Can You Do?
Control your diabetes. Check your blood sugar levels regularly. Wear a medic-alert bracelet. Let us know of any changes in medication and condition. Avoid smoking as it affects the immune response. Brush, floss, tongue debriment, sulk brush, inter-proximal aids and fluoride treatment for root exposure and visit Dentistry in Bolton frequently, every 3-6 months depending on your needs.
What can we do?
We will assess your periodontal condition and advise you of treatment that suits your individual needs. We will gladly educate you on the appropriate tools for your plaque and bacterial control with our informative self-care program.
PREGNANCY AND YOUR ORAL HEALTH
Many hormonal changes occur throughout pregnancy. Estrogen sites are found throughout the tissues and constant hormonal changes combined with increased levels of bacteria and plaque contribute to inflammation, and bleeding known as pregnancy gingivitis.
Women with moderate to severe periodontal disease are at risk of having pre-term low birth weight babies. Low birth weight babies compared to normal birth weight babies are at greater risk of neuro development, respiratory problems and demonstrate behavioral problems including attention deficient disorder. So controlling your periodontal condition is extremely import to a healthy baby.
If you Plan to become Pregnant:
If you plan to become pregnant be sure to visit our dental office for a check-up and treat any existing oral problems prior to becoming pregnant. Have frequent dental cleanings to help control plaque and bacteria. A healthy diet during pregnancy will help to eliminate any dental problems, substituting healthy food such as fruits, vegetables and dairy for sweets.
If you are pregnant:
First and foremost, advise the office prior to any treatment that you are pregnant, and of any history of complications during pregnancy. Avoid dental X-rays, antibiotics (Specially tetracycline) and pain medications during the first trimester unless it is absolutely necessary!
Schedule your dental visit during the fourth to sixth month of pregnancy. The first three months is a critical time for fetal development. During your last trimester, dental stress can induce labor and increase the incidence of prenatal complications.
Teeth and gums need extra attention during pregnancy so brushing and flossing, balanced diet and frequent dental visits will help reduce any dental problems associated with pregnancy.
Reducing the Risk:
Gum disease can be controlled. Regular hygiene appointments based on your periodontal assessment and customized oral hygiene programs appropriate for your needs are recommended to reduce systematic risks associated with gum disease.