By Adam Still, D.M.D., P.L.
In recent studies, it has been reported that almost 50% of the U.S. adult population has some form of periodontal disease.
Whether it’s mild, moderate, or severe, one out of every two adults over the age of thirty is suffering from gingival bacterial infection, soreness, loose teeth and discomfort.
Oral bacteria can cause systemic infections and disease to enter the bloodstream via the mouth. If these bacteria bind to the fatty acids in the heart’s blood vessels, it can cause blood clots and inflammation, which can lead to heart disease and myocardial infarction.
Looking into these statistics even further, it’s widely reported that people with diabetes are one of the major groups that are affected by gum disease. Individuals with diabetes have many co-morbidities that correlate to the issue of their high blood sugar. But in the case of periodontal disease, it’s a catch 22. Diabetics are at increased risk of infection and bacterial growth because of their blood sugar levels, and they also are at higher risk for high blood sugar because of the periodontal disease. Researchers suggest that periodontal disease increases high blood sugar, making individuals with uncontrolled diabetes at greater risk of infections and complications of their condition.
If you have any form of gum discomfort, bleeding or bad breath, it’s important to consult with your dentists about getting your conditions treated right away. Often, just getting a deep scaling, which is a cleaning that goes a little deeper under the gum line, will correct mild to moderate periodontal disease. Loose teeth and infection in your gingival tissues, are easily treated by a periodontal specialist, as they can provide you with options to get your mouth healthy again. These include deep scaling’s, gingival grafts, laser treatment and pocket reduction procedures. Periodontists must complete three more years of specialized training along with their DMD to become a specialist.
There are things that you can do to prevent gum disease. The obvious is brushing your teeth regularly. That means a good two-minute brushing routine that gently cleans each surface of all of your teeth. The importance of flossing cannot be stressed enough. Dentists and Hygienist convey this message regularly to their patients, but unfortunately, in our fast-paced world, many people find it too time-
consuming to floss daily, but in reality, it only takes a minute to floss your teeth. When this step is avoided, food and bacteria harbor in the interproximal space between teeth, and that’s where the periodontal infection begins. Flossing twice a day is ideal, and seeing your dentist, or hygienist on a regularly scheduled basis is vital to keeping your gums healthy.
If you have diabetes, you need to be extra cautious about brushing and flossing, as well as keeping your blood sugar levels under control. The normal fasting blood sugar levels are anywhere from 70-99 mg/dl. The normal A1C, which measures the blood glucose level, should be below 5.7%.
People with diabetes should consult with their Primary Care Physician, or Endocrinologist to keep their levels at the lowest rate possible for them personally. Depending on the type and stage, this is usually accomplished through dietary changes, exercise, and medications, or injections.
Smile Sarasota provides the highest-quality services for restoring mouths that have been damaged by dental disease, injury and common problems that require cosmetic dentistry. Their primary goal for patients is to achieve and maintain optimum oral health through advances in techniques, technologies, and by keeping their scheduled dental exams.
Adam Still, D.M.D., P.L.
Dr. Adam Still was born and raised in the State of Washington. He received his undergraduate degree in Chemistry from the University of Washington in Seattle. Dr. Still moved to Boston where he received his Doctorate from Boston University School of Dental Medicine. He remains committed to ongoing education and staying up-to-date on all the best practices of dental care. Dr. Still has trained at both the Dawson and Spear Academies for advanced training and is a member of the American Dental Association, Florida Dental Association, and West Coast Dental Association.
To find out more, or to schedule your appointment, please call (941) 957-3311, or visit smilesarasota.com.