Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Importance of Good Dental Care for Diabetics

Although proper dental care is important for everyone, diabetics need to pay a little more attention to their oral hygiene routine than non-diabetics do. This is because individuals with diabetes are more likely to have problems with their gums and teeth, as well as suffer more serious consequences. Good dental care is therefore an important part of the process of successfully managing diabetes.

Gum disease

Gum disease occurs when bacteria in the mouth forms into a sticky substance called plaque, which sits on the surface of the teeth. If it's not removed by proper brushing, then over time plaque will cause inflammation of the gums - a condition called gingivitis. Symptoms of gingivitis include red, swollen gums and bleeding when brushing teeth. If left untreated, periodontitis, a more extreme type of gingivitis, will follow, causing teeth to become loose and eventually fall out.


One of the side-effects of diabetes is that infection is able to spread easily through the body. It's therefore important that diabetics try to keep their blood glucose levels under control in order to try to reduce the risk of infection spreading and thus avoid developing gum disease. Unfortunately, however, when the body has to fight infection, blood glucose levels can increase, which can in turn affect food intake resulting in adverse effects on a sufferer's well-being.

Oral thrush can also be a problem for diabetics. This condition is caused by an overgrowth of the fungus Candida and results in painful lesions in the mouth. If an individual's diabetes is not well controlled, his or her saliva may contain a lot of sugar, thereby creating the perfect environment for the growth of this fungus.

Dental routine

Steps for good dental care include the following:

Visit a dentist every six months. This will help identify any infection that may have developed or be in the early stages of developing and enable it to be treated. It will also help to prevent any dental problems escalating. Routine dental checks are important for diabetics because bacteria entering the bloodstream may increase the speed at which cholesterol clogs the arteries, an important issue for someone with diabetes as excess build-up of cholesterol in the bloodstream is a symptom of the condition.

Use a good quality toothbrush. It should have soft nylon bristles with rounded tips. A dentist will be able to recommend the best type.

Use a toothpaste containing fluoride, which will help to keep teeth strong. An anti-bacterial mouthwash may also be beneficial. Again, a dentist will be able to recommend a suitable one.

Diabetics should always ensure that any dentist they visit knows about their condition. As high blood sugar levels may affect the time it takes for gums and teeth to heal after treatment, a dentist may prescribe antibiotics to help avoid infection.

There is no need for a diabetic to change his or her dental hygiene routine significantly. Following a healthy eating plan and taking regular exercise are the best ways to help to keep blood glucose levels under control, which will also help to keep gums and teeth healthy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Teeth Whitening: Just Leave It to the Professionals

Professional teeth whitening can be a very effective way of improving one's smile and appearance in general. Those who want to have a whiter smile than what they get from everyday tooth brushing and regular cleanings by the dentist should consider professional teeth whitening. The commonly practiced methods include chair side bleaching, internal bleaching, and custom tray bleaching. These procedures supervised by one's dentist are much more effective and safe than over-the-counter teeth whitening methods.
The surfaces of teeth can become stained because of food and drinks, smoking, or even disease and aging. If you are not satisfied with the whiteness of your teeth from merely brushing them twice daily and getting cleanings regularly at the dentist's office, you can opt for a professional teeth whitening procedure.
Teeth whitening is quite a popular dental procedure; professional teeth whitening can be accomplished in thirty-minute to one-hour bleaching sessions at a dental office. The first thing to do is to consult with a licensed dentist, who can give you a thorough oral exam and let you know what whitening procedure will be most effective in your case. Yellowish teeth can probably be bleached well, while brownish or grayish teeth are not as easy to whiten. If your front teeth have bonding or tooth-colored fillings in them, bleaching them is not recommended because teeth whitening does not work on these materials, and they will only stand out because the resulting color of the teeth may be uneven.
If your goal is to optimize the attractiveness of your smile, your dentist may want to fix teeth that are particularly crooked or damaged before proceeding with professional teeth whitening.

Monday, June 14, 2010

The three most effective teeth whitening methods

Most people think brushing is an effective teeth whitening method. The truth is, no matter how hard or how often you brush, you cannot simply get rid of the discoloration on your teeth. Having discolored teeth may make you seem that you do not care about your oral hygiene. Teeth discoloration may actually be caused by a number of things besides poor hygiene. Coffee and tea, two widely popular beverages, are known to leave residues that stain the teeth. Red wine can cause yellowing of the teeth. Smoking is habit that is sure to discolor your teeth. Some medications, like tetracyclines, can also stain your pearly whites. Trauma, diseases, dental materials, genetics and the environment are possible culprits. But usually, teeth discoloration is just a part of growing old. Your teeth naturally become discolored as you age.

Fortunately, there are many teeth whitening methods. There are methods that may be applied at home that usually involve the use of dental trays and whitening gels. However, these are not nearly as effective as professional in-office teeth whitening. Using home whitening kits are also risky. You could suffer from chemical burns or from irritation of your mouth's soft tissues and your gums if you do not use these kits correctly. Home whitening kits may also reduce your teeth's enamel.

The best whitening methods are applied in a dentist's office. They are safer and are found to be far more effective than home whitening kits. Below are the top three in-office teeth whitening methods:

Nightime snacking leads to loss of teeth

Do you enjoy eating late at night? Some people do most of their eating after 6:00 P.M. - whether it be nighttime snacking while watching late night T.V. or a chilly bowl of ice cream enjoyed at midnight. Unfortunately, nocturnal snacking could earn you some extra time in a dental chair. A new study shows that nighttime eating is associated with tooth loss.

Eating Late at Night and Loss of Teeth: Is There an Association?

In a study published in the journal Eating Behaviors, researchers looked at the eating habits of 2,217 middle-aged men and women. Men and women who ate twenty-five percent or more of their calories after dinner were classified as nighttime eaters. Some people in this group not only ate before bedtime, but woke up to eat a late night snack. What did this study show? Nighttime eating was associated with a higher overall risk for tooth loss.

The higher risk of loss of teeth seen in the men and women in this study didn't vary based on the type of food they ate - and researchers took into account other factors that could have altered the results such as age, smoking, and their overall diet. It seems that nocturnal eating, in and of itself, is a risk factor for tooth loss.

Why Does Nighttime Eating Increase the Risk of Tooth Loss?

Professor Damien Walmsley, a consultant for the British Dental Association, believes the culprit is the lower saliva flow that occurs during the evening hours. Saliva not only has natural anti-bacterial properties, but also neutralizes the enamel

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Frequency of Toothbrushing and Heart Disease

lf you re not brushing your teeth twice a day you could be risking more than your oral health Find out what a
new study shows about toothbrushing frequency and the risk of serious disease.
Do you brush your teeth twice a day? lf not you could be at higher rsk for heart disease According to a new study toothbrushing affects not only the health of your
mouth and gums but also your heart!

Toothbrushing Frequency and Heart Disease

Researchers looked at the toothbrushing frequency, health habits, and dental habits of
11,000 adults as part of the Scottish Health Survey and compared it to their medical
history. ln addition, samples of blood were drawn to check levels of C-reactive protein
and fibrinogen - as markers for an increased risk of heart disease. These two proteins
are thought to be predictors of future heart disease risk

What did they Fnd?

Adults who brushed their teeth less than twice a day had a higher
risk of heart disease compared to those who followed mom's advice and did it twice a
day. Those who brushed less than once a day had an even higher risk. ln fact, not
brushing twice a day raised the risk of heart disease by a whopping seventy percent.
Not practicing good oral hygiene was also associated with higher blood levels of
C-reactive protein and fibrinogen - other possible indicators of a higher risk for heart

Tothbrushing Frequency and the Risk of Heart Disease: Why the Association?

How does the health of your mouth affect your heart? The mouth is teeming with
bacteria which stick to the teeth, forming plaque, and releasing products that cause
the gums to become inflamed. This can lead to gingivitis if the plaque isn't removed!