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Posts Tagged ‘periodontal disease’

What Are Your Gum Disease Numbers?

In Gum Disease on December 14, 2011 at 1:30 PM

Swift, silent, and deadly…

No, this isn’t another blow-by-blow breakdown of the Navy Seal invasion on Osama bin Laden’s Pakistan compound.

We’re talking about the cavity creeps and their incessant advancement toward total tooth and gum domination.

Gum disease has already been linked to plenty of other physical ailments, like heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and even premature birth; but there is a simple way to fend off gum disease or periodontitis – FLOSS!
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The next time your dentist (or hygienist) gives up the dental intel, take the time to mentally catalogue your gum disease numbers…2…3…4…3…3…2… if we hear anything over 2 or 3 we need to remain diligent, if we hear 4s we need to reinforce our oral defenses!

Here are some signs of gum disease courtesy of Colgate.com:

  • Red, swollen and/or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums when brushing or flossing
  • Receding gums
  • Changes in your bite, or the way your teeth fit together
  • Persistent bad breath

For some humorous take on the numbers of healthcare in America, and the role social media plays in the way Americans take in (and hopefully SHARE) this important information, check out this video from the Mayo Clinic:


 
And CARE enough to SHARE this info with your social circles!

 

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How Can Our Dentists Help Diagnose Diabetes?

In Gum Disease on July 21, 2011 at 4:30 AM

As if we need another reason to keep up our normal thrice yearly dental visits, here comes recent news out of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York.

Problem: As with periodontal disease or gum disease, many people walk around without even knowing they are affected by diabetes.

About 7 million according to the National Diabetes Fact Sheet for 2011. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, one in four people affected with type 2 diabetes in the United States remains undiagnosed.

Solution: Develop additional methods to test and identify diabetes risk factors in an oral healthcare setting – the dental office.

“Our findings provide a simple approach that can be easily used in all dental-care settings.” – lead author and Columbia University College of Dental Medicine Associate Professor, Dr. Evanthia Lalla.

In the study titled, Identification of Unrecognized Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes in a Dental Setting, published in the July 2011 issue of the Journal of Dental Research, researchers at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine found that dental visits present a great opportunity [for our dentists] to identify people with diabetes or pre-diabetes who are unaware of their condition.

So there’s reason number 1,286 on why keeping our regularly scheduled dental appointments not only improves the overall condition of our condition, doing so can actually save us money too.

Dr. Ira Lamster, Dean of Columbia University College of Dental Medicine, and colleagues recruited 601 people visiting a dental clinic in New York.

These 601 individuals adhered to the following qualifications:

  • 40-years-old or older if non-Hispanic white
  • 30-years-old or older if Hispanic or non-white ethnicity
  • Had never been told they have diabetes or pre-diabetes

According to this press release about the Columbia study from ScienceDaily.com outlining the study, approximately 530 of these patients received a periodontal examination and a fingerstick, point-of-care hemoglobin A1c test.

These patients all had at least one additional self-reported diabetes risk factor: family history of diabetes, high cholesterol, hypertension, or overweight/obesity.

In order for the research team to assess and compare the performance of several potential identification protocols, patients also returned for a fasting plasma glucose test, which indicates whether an individual has diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Researchers found that, in this at-risk dental population examined, a simple algorithm composed of only two dental parameters (number of missing teeth and percentage of deep periodontal pockets) was effective in identifying patients with unrecognized pre-diabetes or diabetes. The addition of the point-of-care A1c test was of significant value, further improving the performance of this algorithm.

So what does all this diabetes and dentistry news mean to the average dental patient?

“Early recognition of diabetes has been the focus of efforts from medical and public health colleagues for years, as early treatment of affected individuals can limit the development of many serious complications,” says Dr. Evanthia Lalla, an associate professor at the College of Dental Medicine, and the lead author on the paper.

The more social connectivity enables the advancement of personal healthcare, the earlier we can identify and treat all too common oral systemic conditions.

SOURCE: Columbia University Medical Center (2011, July 18). Dentists can identify people with undiagnosed diabetes. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 19, 2011, from http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110714191537.htm

Does Gum Disease Inhibit Pregnancy?

In Gum Disease on July 7, 2011 at 4:30 AM

According to a recent ScienceDaily® article highlighting another health complication related to gum disease, Professor Roger Hart told the annual meeting of the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology that the negative effect of gum disease on conception was of the same order of magnitude as the effect of obesity.

That’s a pretty staggering and scary proclamation. And one we should share with every woman we know that could be contemplating a family.

Photo Courtesy of Jenny Rollo©

Periodontal disease is a chronic bacterial infection that affects the gums and bone supporting the teeth. Periodontal disease can affect one tooth or many teeth. It begins when the bacteria in plaque (the sticky, colorless film that constantly forms on your teeth) causes the gums to become inflamed.1

It’s when this bacteria, if left unchecked due to poor oral health habits, creates inflammation around the tooth; the gum starts to pull away from the tooth, creating spaces (periodontal pockets) that become infected.2

The inflammation sets off a cascade of tissue-destructive events that can pass into the circulation. As a result, periodontal disease has been associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, respiratory and kidney disease, and problems in pregnancy such as miscarriage and premature birth.3

Conception Complications

Prof Hart, who is Professor of Reproductive Medicine at the University of Western Australia (Perth, Australia) and Medical Director of Fertility Specialists of Western Australia, said:

“Until now, there have been no published studies that investigate whether gum disease can affect a woman’s chance of conceiving, so this is the first report to suggest that gum disease might be one of several factors that could be modified to improve the chances of a pregnancy.”

The researchers followed a group 3737 pregnant women, who were taking part in a Western Australian study called the SMILE study, and they analyzed information on pregnancy planning and pregnancy outcomes for 3416 of them.

They found that women with gum disease took an average of just over seven months to become pregnant — two months longer than the average of five months that it took women without gum disease to conceive.4

Information on time to conception was available for 1,956 women, and of, these, 146 women took longer than 12 months to conceive — an indicator of impaired fertility. They were more likely to be older, non-Caucasian, to smoke and to have a body mass index over 25 kg/m2. Out of the 3416 women, 1014 (26%) had periodontal disease.5

Additionally, Professor Hart mentions that all women should also be encouraged to see their dentist to have any gum disease treated before trying to conceive. It is easily treated, usually involving no more than four dental visits.

Schedule a dental appointment and talk to your dentist about gum disease and Periodontitis BEFORE you decide to plan a pregnancy.

For more staggering statistics on the study, click over to the ScienceDaily® article here.

Then go share this important piece of dental health information!

 
 

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