Being diagnosed with a chronic disease is difficult for anyone. For those with Type 2 Diabetes it is no different. Fortunately with medical advances they are continuing to learn better ways to monitor and treat diabetes and its effect on our health. Research has uncovered links between gum disease and other parts of the body. For instance, periodontal disease has been associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke, which makes a good case in addressing gum inflammation. More recently, researchers have discovered another potential benefit of keeping gum disease at bay. According to research, it has been found that treating periodontal disease in diabetics may lower their insulin levels. Researchers suggest that the connection is based on bacterial infections of the mouth that cause inflammation, which results in chemical changes that reduce the effectiveness of insulin produced in the body. As a consequence, diabetics find it more difficult to control their blood sugar.
Prevention is an important step in caring for our teeth. Quite frequently our patients will ask us what they can do to further protect their teeth. The following is information regarding different mouth devices that can be worn and when they might be necessary.
Stress can cause us to clench and grind our teeth together, resulting in numerous dental and whole body challenges. Wearing a night guard is an effective dental device that is worn to prevent damage to your teeth. A night guard is designed to protect your teeth from unnecessary wear and fractures caused by clenching and grinding that happens primarily in your sleep. A night guard also helps reduce the effects of TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorders) soreness that can occur in your jaw. However, some people unknowingly clench and grind throughout the day also and may even require an additional guard to wear during the day.
Our night guards are custom designed to fit over your teeth precisely and can be made in different materials to accommodate your needs. They can be adjusted as needed and are designed to last a long time.
We use several different lasers in our office and I wanted to share with you how our patients feel about them. Here is just sample of what our patients experience with our lasers:
I recently had a patient come in for a second opinion on treating her front tooth which had a crown that had come off. She said she had been to three dentists and all of them told her the tooth needed to be removed and a bridge completed or an implant placed. A dentist had cemented the crown back on temporarily but it was not close to fitting the tooth or her beautiful smile. The problem was related to excessive gum tissue that prevented the crown from fully seating on the existing tooth. The tooth also had fractured. We used laser to correct the gum tissue with no bleeding. Then we bonded the tooth back together. I told the patient that the treatment might not last for a very long time but that it frequently lasts for many years. She was elated at the result. For more of her story in her own words, you can see her recent review on our web site.
Last winter I had the privilege of attending the International Academy of Ceramic Implants annual meeting. The meeting was held in a suburb of Miami Florida. Several of the excellent speakers were from Europe. They have been working with ceramic implants for much longer in Europe than in the US. I learned the most from a German dentist who spoke about his simplified ceramic implant concept as well as his experience on the effects of metals and infections on the human body. At the end of his presentation he invited any of us to come and shadow him at his clinic while he does the procedures. What a great opportunity! Since my early years in dentistry I have focused on learning from the best and whenever possible, experience hands on learning and observation. An early mentor, George Eversal, taught me that what a doctor says in a lecture versus what they actually do in practice is often different. These are nuances that if overlooked can result in a completely different result.