An Oral Report: The Link Between Gum Disease and Diabetes

Did you know that people with diabetes are twice as more likely to develop gum disease than their counterparts? We look at how gum disease can be an indicator of diabetes.

While 26 million children and adults in the U.S. have diabetes, another 79 million are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. “Oral health is integral to general health… oral health means more than healthy teeth and you cannot be healthy without oral health,” states the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health in America.

Among the many complications linked with diabetes, such as heart disease and kidney disease, gum disease is one complication that is oft-times overlooked. High blood-glucose levels hinder the body’s ability to heal from infections, including gum disease.  According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

For those with diabetes, it is essential to control blood-glucose levels, as well as develop healthy oral care habits. Maintaining an optimum blood-glucose level can help prevent the onset of gum disease and even relieve dry mouth that can also be caused by diabetes. Diabetes is also associated to thrush, an oral infection caused by fungus that grows in the mouth.

General symptoms of gum disease include bleeding gums, painful chewing, loose or sensitive teeth and receding gums or teeth that appear longer.  Poorly controlled blood-glucose levels can lead to the development of serious gum disease, resulting in loss of teeth.

A healthy oral care routine consists of brushing at least once a day, flossing daily and visiting the dentist every six months. When visiting the dentist, be sure to let him or her know whether you have diabetes, as there may be different procedures for patients living with diabetes.

6 Ways Oral Hygiene Affects The Rest Of Your Body

Oral hygiene is more important than you think. There are several reasons why your dental hygienist urges you to brush your teeth regularly and to come in for cleanings. You may not realize it, but your dental health can affect the rest of your body’s health too. By brushing with good brand toothbrushes such as a PeriClean toothbrush or other dentist recommended toothbrushes, you can have healthy teeth and gums. So what are the ways oral hygiene affects the rest of your body?

Low Risk of Premature Birth
Using mouthwash regularly can actually keep some pregnant women from delivering early. One study showed that women who used mouthwash at least twice a day were less likely to have premature births. (from the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology).

Gum Disease Makes Conception time take longer
Those who have gum disease may take longer to conceive according to the European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. A study showed that those with gum disease took about seven months to become pregnant while those who did not have gum disease only took five.

Bad Oral Hygiene can cause Heart Problems
Those who suffer from periodontal disease are twice as likely to have heart disease or other problems, according to the American Academy of Periodontology. People who have gum disease or cuts in their gums from previous dental work are at risk for bacteria entering their bloodstream which can cause infection in the heart or lungs.

Dementia Risk Increases
People who have lost a number permanent teeth by the age of 35 could have an increased chance at developing dementia, said a study from the Journal of the American Dental Association in 2007. Some findings have shown that those who have a low number of teeth have developed dementia later on, although it hasn’t been proven that dementia actually is caused by loss of teeth.

Risk of Diabetes
There has also been a link between periodontal disease and diabetes. Some tests have shown that those with periodontal complications were already prediabetic, although it hasn’t been proven that it is what caused the diabetes, there have been hundreds of cases where bad gum disease has been a visible precursor to a diabetes diagnosis.

Healthier Lungs
Good dental hygiene including brushing, flossing and regular teeth cleanings have been proven to help prevent lung infections such as pneumonia and other respiratory illnesses. Through testing, there has been an unsuspected connection between periodontal disease and pulmonary diseases.

Families who have children should stress the importance of dental health and the ways oral hygiene affects the rest of the body. It is best to take proper dental care now, so you have a healthier quality of life later on.

What You Need to Know About Gum Disease

Although genetic factors play a critical role in gum disease, the people who maintain a good oral care routine can easily avoid developing gum conditions, such as gingivitis and periodontitis. So, what you need to know about gum disease is that its occurrence can be prevented by simply brushing and flossing your teeth regularly, eating a balanced diet and having regular dental visits.

Preventative Oral Care

Practicing good dental habits helps to prevent and fight gum disease. These habits include:

  • Brushing your teeth properly at least two times a day
  • Flossing the space between your teeth once a day
  • Using fluoride toothpaste to prevent tooth decay
  • Opting for an electric toothbrush with oscillating and rotating action (although this toothbrush does exactly the same job as regular toothbrushes, it helps you brush your teeth more efficiently)
  • Using plaque-disclosing tablets occasionally to check whether you’re brushing your teeth properly or not
  • Using antiseptic or antiplaque mouthwash
  • Visiting your dentist regularly

Since bleeding gums may be a symptom of gum disease, you should see your dentist as soon as possible if your gums bleed when you brush or floss your teeth.

Brushing Recommendations

What else do you need to know about gum disease? You can prevent it and treat it by following these guidelines:

  • Always use soft-bristled brushes that fit the shape and size of your mouth
  • Place the toothbrush parallel to your gums and against your teeth to form a 45-degree angle
  • Perform a back-and-forth motion to brush your teeth
  • Brush the outer tooth surfaces first; continue with the inner tooth and chewing surfaces
  • Use the tip of your toothbrush to massage the inner surfaces of the front teeth
  • Brush your tongue to remove bacteria

If you’ve been diagnosed with gum disease, you should visit your dentist for professional teeth cleaning. Only a dentist can remove tartar and plaque from above and below the gum line, and recommend specific treatments, such as fluoride treatments, pocket reduction surgery, bone and soft tissue grafts, bone surgery and guided tissue regeneration.

Develop Healthy Habits

If you suffer from gum disease, it’s very important to make wise food choices. You should eat a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, cheese, milk, yogurt and peanuts. These foods can help prevent plaque from forming and clear your mouth of harmful bacteria. Since fat, sodium and sugar are harmful to teeth, try to limit them in your diet.

Why Flossing is Key to Dental Health

Research shows that proper dental care should include regular flossing. In fact, flossing helps to keep your smile attractive and healthy. Oral health can also prevent other more serious diseases, including some that can become life threatening. Toothbrushes work by manually eradicating plaque from teeth with its textured bristles. Toothpaste increases the effect of brushing, especially the kinds that contains fluoride, which helps to decrease the quantity of bacteria in the mouth. However, toothbrushes have one disadvantage; they are not efficient enough to get between the teeth or beneath the gums. This is where flossing comes in.

The American Dental Association proposes that flossing prior to brushing your teeth helps make brushing more effectual. Flossing is excellent for removing plaque from hard to get to spaces between the teeth and beneath the gums. When less plaque is wedged between the teeth, the fluoride in toothpaste is more effective at reaching additional parts of your mouth. However, if you are not yet persuaded to add flossing to your daily oral cleaning routine, here are a few examples of why flossing is so important:

Brushing and flossing are more effective than brushing alone
Even though brushing your teeth twice daily is effective with maintaining oral health, for the best possible cleaning, flossing is recommended.

Flossing Protects Gums
The place where the gums and teeth come together is where flossing is most beneficial. Tiny bits of food can get stuck causing plaque in this area to harden and form tartar that only a dentist can eliminate with a scraper. Tarter accumulation can lead to red, swollen gums known as gingivitis, the first phase of gum disease.

Flossing Saves You Money
Education about oral care encourages people to brush and floss daily. Specialized dental procedures and tools are cutting-edge and can fix even acute medical problems. However, if you ask any dentist, they will tell you the most cost effective tools to protect oral health are a toothbrush and a box of floss, which is much cheaper than a visit to the dentist!

Flossing Helps to Prevent Additional Diseases
Gum and tooth disease can develop into more than discolored teeth, bad breath, or discomfort. According to the CDC, Center for Disease Control and Prevention, in-depth research has proven that bacteria that flourish in an unhealthy mouth can lead to respiratory illness, diabetes, and heart disease.

Poor health of the teeth, gums, and mouth can contribute to a host of serious illnesses. Flossing is a simple tool that can help with oral health and the overall health of the body. Flossing only requires a few minutes each day, but can contribute to a lifetime of health.

Are We all Brushing Too Hard?

Most of us want clean, healthy teeth, right? Brushing our teeth twice daily is probably the best way we take care of our teeth, in addition to going to the dentist regularly for checkups. Other things that help include flossing, rinsing between meals, and minimizing how much we eat of sugar, junk food, and other “sticky” foods that can contribute to tooth decay.

Even so, there can be too much of a good thing. The question is, then, are we all brushing too hard? In a word, yes. Although we must be thorough when we brush our teeth, and we must do it frequently enough to keep teeth clean (twice a day is the most often recommended frequency), we can indeed brush our teeth too hard.

Tooth Sensitivity

What happens when you brush too hard? Increased tooth sensitivity.

Consider the degree to which enamel erosion happens, especially as we get older. While brushing is necessary, over-brushing or brushing too hard can slowly wear away tooth enamel.

The result? Increasingly sensitive teeth, teeth that hurt when exposed to hot or cold foods, for example. The fix to this is to use a soft or extra soft brush, hold the brush at a 45-degree angle, and limit your brushing time to two minutes. In addition, lighten the pressure you put on your toothbrush; many modern toothbrushes have heads that will flex backward if you apply too much pressure, thus giving good remedial help as to how much pressure you should apply.

If you do brush with a manual toothbrush and don’t have a pressure-sensitive head on the toothbrush, one way to make sure you’re not applying too much pressure is to hold the toothbrush gently in your fingers, not clenched in your fist, and use small circular motions when you brush – again with an extra soft or at least soft toothbrush.

Gum Erosion

Do your gums bleed when you brush your teeth? They could be bleeding because you have some kind of infection in your gums, also known as gingivitis; if that’s the case, you should see your dentist. However, if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth and you don’t have an infection, chances are you’re brushing them too hard – and that can lead to gum erosion. Gum erosion is bad news, because your gums protect your teeth, especially at the roots; exposed roots mean tooth pain and extra sensitivity.

Remember, brushing right and with the right frequency (twice a day, gently, with a soft-bristled toothbrush) can help ensure that you have healthy teeth for decades to come.

Understanding Gum Recession

Good oral health is one of the keys to your overall well-being and self-confidence. When you maintain a thorough cleaning routine, you greatly reduce the risk for certain dental problems.  All too often, the focus of dental hygiene is only on the teeth.  However, gums play a crucial roll in the health of your mouth.  Developing a gum problem can lead to serious consequences.  Receding gums is a serious issue in which gum tissue is lost and exposes the roots of the teeth. PeriClean is an innovative dental product that is designed to help maintain a cleaner, healthier gum line among other benefits.  In order to effectively understand how PeriClean can help, you must first understand gum recession and its adverse affects to your mouth.

Gum recession, also known as gingival recession, is when the gums slowly deteriorate beginning at the gum line.  Over time, you will loose more and more of the precious gum tissue that you need.  Many things can cause this problem, from poor dental hygiene to aggressive brushing.  Teeth grinding and sensitive gum tissue can also be the culprit.  More often than not, gum recession can easily be corrected when the source of the problem is detected.  However, it is up you to be aware of the signs and check with your dentist for a cleaning and a solution.

Symptoms of gum recession include:

  • Bleeding gums whenever your brush your teeth or floss
  • Swollen, red gums
  • Halitosis
  • Exposed teeth roots
  • Increased space between teeth
  • Longer looking teeth

Left untreated, gum recession can lead to periodontal disease, which is an infection of the gums that can lead to bone loss.  Understanding gum recession can help you to prevent this problem from forming in your own mouth.  This magnitude of symptoms will definitely affect you in your daily life. Before the problem gets out of control, take matters into your own hands.

PeriClean is a specialty toothbrush that is gentle on the gums. PeriClean is also bacteria resistant. The sleek design of a PeriClean toothbrush allows it to get around your tooth line efficiently.  It also lasts twice as long as a conventional toothbrush.  The soft rubber bristles of a PeriClean brush help clean along the gum line without causing damage or trauma to your already sensitive gums.  The nylon bristles on a conventional toothbrush can strip your enamel and cause damage to gums.

If you want to correct the problems that have affected your gums, try a PeriClean toothbrush to receive an optimal clean every time you brush your teeth. Understanding gum recession can help you fight back and regain the health of your mouth.