Blog Entries With Tag: teeth

Posted: Nov 2, 2011


Recently I came across an article from researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York City. They have created a simple equation, involving the space between teeth and gums and the number of missing teeth, that helps dentists identify people who have early stages of Type 2 diabetes.

The researchers found that in this at-risk dental population, a simple algorithm composed of only two dental parameters (number of missing teeth and percentage of deep periodontal pockets) was effective in identifying patients with unrecognized pre-diabetes or diabetes. The addition of the point-of-care A1c test was of significant value, further improving the performance of this algorithm.

I go to the dentist every 9 months for a check-up and cleaning.  It used to be every 6 months - but my medical plan at work has cut back on some of the services we had - but still - to have 80-100% coverage for keeping my pearly whites (well - they are now looking abit yellow with age) is great!  I've been lucky so far since starting to work full time at 19 - that medical coverage from my employer at work has enabled me to keep my gums/teeth in good state.  Many people don't know that problems with your gums can lead to other health issues, such as diabetes, heart disease and stroke, even Alzheimer's disease.

For folks like myself with diabetes we sometimes tend to be prone to tooth and gum problems when our blood glucose (BG) stays high or our overall health isn't good.  If high BG's persist, it can actually eventually cause you to even lose your teeth believe it or not.  Scary stuff !!  Now, if you don't have medical coverage at work – you can try calling up your local university that may have a free or affordable dental clinic .  I know here in Montreal, McGill University has teamed up with a local organisation that provides free dental work (note this last link works - but you will have to click on "Open this content in a new window" - in order to view the article - sorry for the extra step - some websites don't like for one reason or another accessing them).


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Posted: May 20, 2009

Well, it was my regular 8 month clean up for my teeth yesterday and as usual I was told to floss my teeth more often and massage my gums (Oh Calgon take me away).  Of course, I did the flossing the night before - but that's a lame excuse - it should be done daily.  I think sometimes with having diabetes,  having to take this med and that med that I let things drop.  Luckily for me, I only have a problem with receding gum lines but they haven't advanced any further in the past 15 years. Perhaps with my switching to a rechargeable electric tooth brush and once in a blue moon stimulating my gums as well as flossing it has helped.  The main thing is to have a tooth brush that is soft - and don't brush hard - be gentle - and try to brush for at least 3 minutes!

One thing that many people don't realise is that oral disease in diabetics is a health risk - just like retinopathy, neuropathy, nephropathy. Now, anyone can get periodontitis, or problems with the tissues around your gums and teeth, but for diabetics it can sometimes be worse causing more complications.  When we have an infection anywhere in our body - not just our mouth - it tends to make insulin work less efficiently.  Some articles I've read also state that periodontal disease indicate BG problems and perhaps retinopathy. Basically, we shouldn't take mouth problems lightly! 

Also, another problem that diabetics can sometimes have is a dry mouth ( can vouch for that - pass me a beer).  Not producing enough salvia will result in tooth and gum disease since you're not able to wash off residues in your mouth.  As I've been told in the past both by my endo / dentist - "drink more fluids". 

So, keeping your BG's in control along with good oral health will keep most of those nasty dental complications at bay.  I just want to keep my own teeth for as long as I can - even if they aren't pearly white like George Hamilton's!

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