Monthly Archives: February 2016

The Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease | Oak Lawn, IL Dentist

Healthy food in heart and cholesterol diet concept

Diabetes is a serious health complication that, in much simpler terms, means that you have too much sugar or glucose in your blood. There are two types of diabetes, but regardless of which of the two you have, you’re basically facing a lifelong bout with diabetes medication.

Diabetes affects the whole body, including your mouth and gums. Though, to what extent depends on how well you’re able to discipline yourself in terms of controlling your blood sugar.

If kept under control, diabetes should have little to no effect on oral health. But, if left unchecked, the effects of diabetes on the mouth and gums can be dramatic.

Those with diabetes are susceptible to the following:

  • Increasingly progressive gum disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Xerostomia, or dry mouth, which can also lead to periodontal disease
  • Poor healing in the mouth
  • Thrush or oral candidiasis
  • Burning sensation in the mouth and/or tongue

Diabetes, if left unchecked, can significantly affect your body’s white blood cells, making your body much weaker against infections. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, which is why those with uncontrolled diabetes are more susceptible to it and also why those with diabetes, in general, tend to suffer from worse cases of gum disease.

If you’re suffering from both diabetes and periodontal disease, it’s important to get treatment. Successful treatment of gum disease can help keep diabetes under control, as any type of infection can cause blood sugar levels to rise. Once the infection is treated, your blood sugar levels may go back down to normal, making it easier to keep your diabetes in check without always having to rely on medication.

Going to the Dentist

The first step in keeping your diabetes under control is to inform your dentist about the history of your condition. Your dentist should know about when it started, when you started taking medication and what sort of medication you are on. Basically, be honest with your dentist because this kind of information will help him or her decide what course of treatment is best for you.

One reason why you want to tell your dentist about the history of your diabetes is because they may accidentally prescribe you medicine that may interfere with your diabetes medication.

Because of your diabetes, your wounds tend to heal much more slowly and you’re more prone to infection. So, as far as dental treatments and recovery goes, be sure to follow your dentist’s recommendations to the letter.

Now, while going to the dentist is a significant step when it comes to having gum disease treated and keeping your diabetes under control, equally as important is the follow-up home care. If you don’t take proper care of your teeth, your diabetes will only get worse and this will only make it harder to control your diabetes.

Brush twice a day and floss once to prevent decay. If you’re suffering from dry mouth, ask our dentist or physician about other means of moistening your mouth. You should also rinse with fluoride mouthwash or gels to further prevent decay.

Minimizing The Risk for Gum Disease

Those with diabetes are more at risk for gum disease than those who are not, due to a combination of many factors. As a result, they have special needs.

Should you be suffering from diabetes, be sure to keep your glucose levels in check at all times and practice proper oral care at home. You should also visit the dentist regularly for checkups and cleaning, as well as make sure that your dentist is well-informed about the history of your disease.

By making sure that you do all those things, you suffering from diabetes should not be synonymous to you also suffering from gum disease.

If you’re have diabetes and would like more information on periodontal disease, contact Dr. Bartz at 708-430-4440 or visit our website at www.bartzandbartzdental.com to learn more.

Dr. Bartz proudly welcomes patients from Chicago, Orland Park, Burbank and Palos Hills.

Interesting Facts About Your Toothbrush

Woman brushing her teeth

While we’ve all heard about how important brushing and taking care of our teeth is, most of us know so little about the little instrument we use to do so – the toothbrush.

For starters, did you know that the toothbrush wasn’t invented by a dentist, nor a medical professional, but rather an entrepreneur who was also an inmate who came up with it out of boredom. Who knew, right?

Now, if you think that’s interesting, wait till you read about these other interesting facts about your little ol’ toothbrush.

  • It’s been shown that the average American will have spent more than a thousand hours, or a day or two north of 38 days brushing their teeth by the time they die. While a surprising number, dentists believe that the average number is a couple of days short as it should be around 122 days.

 

  • Speaking of time spent brushing teeth, the average person usually spends 48 seconds a day brushing their teeth. That’s more than a minute short of the 2 or 3 minutes that dentists recommend.

 

  • Back in the 1800s, toothbrush bristles were made from the hair of cows. That’s a far cry from the nylon bristles used in toothbrush bristles today.

 

  • On average, the typical toothbrush will contain around 2,500 bristles.

 

  • Placing a cap on your toothbrush is actually counterintuitive. This is because the moist environment created by placing a cap promotes the growth of bacteria.

 

  • The first toothbrush can be traced back either to 1498 or in 1780. Though, most experts believe that the first toothbrush with bristles made in China in 1948 using hair from various animals such as hogs, horses and badgers was far too primitive to be considered as a modern. Hence, many agree that the toothbrush made in 1780, by a guy named William Addis due to his boredom in prison, using a bone and bristles from a stationed guard is widely considered as the first modern toothbrush. The fact that Addis eventually made a fortune mass producing his invention further proves that statement.

 

  • In America alone, Americans are believed to throw away 25,000 tons of toothbrushes every year. This has led manufacturers to try and minimize the waste by selling toothbrushes made out of recyclable plastic. Other manufacturers have also begun to manufacture toothbrushes with replaceable heads, so only the bristles are thrown away when the time comes.

 

  • Despite how “little” time people devote to brushing their teeth when you go by what’s recommended, a survey back in 2003 showed that the toothbrush was the #1 thing people couldn’t live without. Though, with the advent of smartphones and the fact that more people these days own or use a smartphone than they do a toothbrush, the 2003 survey could use a little updating.

Now that you’re so great with all these facts about your toothbrush, why don’t you go out and share these with your friends and family?

Of course, in line with tooth brush, you shouldn’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day, floss at least once and gargle with mouthwash to prevent bacteria and plaque build-up. Also, make sure that you don’t forget to schedule a regular check-up and cleaning with your favourite dentist!

If you would like to schedule a teeth cleaning or checkup, contact Bartz and Bartz Dental at 708-430-4440 or visit our website at wwwbartzandbartzdental.com to learn more about Bartz and Bartz Dental and our team.