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DIABETES AND PERIODONTAL DISEASE
Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.
People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don't have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways - periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.
Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.
"Keep a stiff upper lip" or "get a grip!" That's often the advice we get—and give—on how to cope with stress. If you take it literally, the result could be grinding your teeth or clenching your jaws. It's called bruxism, and often it happens as you sleep.
Teeth grinding can be caused not just by stress and anxiety but by sleep disorders, an abnormal bite or teeth that are missing or crooked. A study in the November 2016 issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association suggests that teeth grinding is also associated with alcohol and tobacco use. People who drink alcohol and smokers are approximately twice as likely to grind their teeth.
The symptoms of teeth grinding include:
teeth that are painful or loose
Your dentist can fit you with a mouth guard to protect your teeth during sleep. In some cases, your dentist or physician may recommend taking a muscle relaxant before bedtime. If stress is the cause you need to find a way to relax. Meditation, counseling and exercise can all help reduce stress and anxiety.
Teeth grinding is also common in children. However, because their teeth and jaws change and grow so quickly it is not usually a damaging habit that requires treatment and most outgrow it by adolescence.
Although in adults teeth grinding is often the result of stress, the same is not always true with children. Other possible causes of teeth grinding in children include:
irritation in the mouth
If you’re concerned about your child’s teeth grinding, ask your child’s dentist about the potential causes and, if necessary, the possible solutions.
-American Dental Association
EXPECTANT MOTHERS’ PERIODONTAL HEALTH VITAL TO HEALTH OF HER BABY
When a woman becomes pregnant, she knows it is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle to ensure both the health of herself and the health of her baby. New clinical recommendations from the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) and the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) urge pregnant women to maintain periodontal health as well. Research has indicated that women with periodontal disease may be at risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, such giving birth to a pre-term or low-birth weight baby, reports the AAP and EFP.
Periodontal disease is a chronic, bacteria-induced, inflammatory condition that attacks the gum tissue and in more severe cases, the bone supporting the teeth. If left untreated, periodontal disease, also known as gum disease, can lead to tooth loss and has been associated with other systemic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
“Tenderness, redness, or swollen gums are a few indications of periodontonal disease,” warns Dr. Nancy L. Newhouse, DDS, MS, President of the AAP and a practicing periodontist in Independence, Missouri. “Other symptoms include gums that bleed with toothbrushing or eating, gums that are pulling away from the teeth, bad breath, and loose teeth. These signs, especially during pregnancy, should not be ignored and may require treatment from a dental professional.”
Several research studies have suggested that women with periodontal disease may be more likely to deliver babies prematurely or with low-birth weight than mothers with healthy gums. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), babies with a birth weight of less than 5.5 pounds may be at risk of long-term health problems such as delayed motor skills, social growth, or learning disabilities. Similar complications are true for babies born at least three weeks earlier than its due date. Other issues associated with pre-term birth include respiratory problems, vision and hearing loss, or feeding and digestive problems.
The medical and dental communities concur that maintaining periodontal health is an important part of a healthy pregnancy. The clinical recommendations released by the AAP and the EFP state that non-surgical periodontal therapy is safe for pregnant women, and can result in improved periodontal health. Published concurrently in the Journal of Periodontology and Journal of Clinical Periodontology, the report provides guidelines for both dental and medical professionals to use in diagnosing and treating periodontal disease in pregnant women. In addition, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists recently released a statement encouraging pregnant women to sustain their oral health and recommended regular dental cleanings during pregnancy.
“Routine brushing and flossing, and seeing a periodontist, dentist, or dental hygienist for a comprehensive periodontal evaluation during pregnancy may decrease the chance of adverse pregnancy complications,” says Dr. Newhouse. “It is important for expectant mothers to monitor their periodontal health and to have a conversation with their periodontist or dentist about the most appropriate care. By maintaining your periodontal health, you are not only supporting your overall health, but also helping to ensure a safe pregnancy and a healthy baby,” says Dr. Newhouse.
--AMERICAN ACADEMY OF PERIODONTOLOGY
Are electric toothbrushes REALLY better than manual toothbrushes?
Our experts weigh the pros and cons of each type of toothbrush.
May 24, 2017 By Renee Knight
Many patients don’t realize just how important it is to use the right toothbrush. They typically rely on the sample they get after their 6-month dental visit or pick up a cheap option at their local grocery store. To them, all toothbrushes are basically the same, and they don’t see a reason to invest in an electric version.
While using a manual brush is, of course, better than nothing, many oral health care professionals want their patients to make the switch to electric. These brushes help ensure patients get their mouths as clean as possible—reducing their cavity risk and the likelihood they’ll develop gingivitis.
Check out Listerine's Office Essentials program for free patient samples, helpful resources and more!
“I can typically tell when somebody uses an electric toothbrush versus a manual toothbrush just by looking at their oral health,” says Sarah Thiel, RDH, CEO and co-founder of CE Zoom. “Their gums look amazing, and I don’t have to do a lot during the appointment.”
Patients also can tell the difference when they switch to electric, Thiel says, but they won’t experience the benefits unless you provide them with the proper education and guidance. Once they understand what it can mean for their oral health as well as their overall health, most patients will be happy to make the extra investment in their smile.
Why your patients should go electric
Electric toothbrushes offer patients a variety of advantages, no matter their oral condition, says Tina Clarke, RDH. These brushes do the work for them, with many even featuring a timer to ensure patients brush for a full two minutes, as well as a pressure indicator light to let patients know when they’re brushing too hard and possibly damaging their gums. Clarke describes it as brainless brushing; all patients have to do is move the brush from tooth to tooth, whether they’re using Phillips Sonicare brushes that penetrate deep below the gum line to disrupt the bacterial environment or round Oral-B brush heads that oscillate in a half-circle motion to remove biofilm from the tooth surface.
“A lot of people are in a hurry and do a drive-by in the mouth,” says Anastasia Turchetta, RDH. “Electric toothbrushes give us a better chance of accomplishing what we need to do as hygienists, and that’s reducing inflammation, removing plaque and reducing hypersensitivity.”
Thiel recommends electric toothbrushes to every patient she sees. She always notices issues in the mouth that an electric brush can help improve, she says, including recession and sensitivity from improper brushing and gingivitis from not brushing at all.
Electric toothbrushes are also great options for children, especially if they have braces, Thiel says.
“Parents are spending a lot of money on orthodontic work, and if kids don’t brush correctly, they’ll end up with white boxes where the brackets are,” Thiel says. “That can only be fixed by putting on a crown, which can be pretty frustrating.”
Elderly patients with dexterity issues can also benefit from electric toothbrushes, Thiel says. Many older patients can’t move their hands the way they need to, so if they use a manual brush, they’re likely leaving plaque behind. An electric version cleans their teeth for them, so as long as they get it close to where it needs to be, it’s going to remove plaque and help prevent problems.
If you want a smile that’s your crowning glory, you may need a crown to cover a tooth to help restore it to its normal shape and size. A crown can make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance.
A crown can help strengthen a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t enough tooth remaining to hold the filling. Crowns can also be used to attach bridges, protect a weak tooth from breaking or restore one that’s already broken. A crown is a good way to cover teeth that are discolored or badly shaped. It’s also used to cover a dental implant.
If your dentist recommends a crown, it is probably to correct one of these conditions. Your dentist’s primary concern, like yours, is helping you keep your teeth healthy and your smile bright.
--American Dental Association