Articles

Diabetes and Oral Health

If you’re an adult between the ages of 25 and 65, chances are you have been diagnosed with diabetes or know someone who has. Diabetes has become one of the most prevalent conditions among adults in the United States. The latest data from the American Diabetes Association estimates there are currently over 30 million Americans affected by this condition, with over 1 million new cases diagnosed every year. As part of the routine care these patients need it is also extremely important to include regular visits to the dentist. Research has shown that people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum disease, or periodontal infection, because of their reduced ability to fight infection. Without early detection this infection can result in pain and loss of teeth, which results in drastic changes to your diet therefore making it even more difficult to control your blood sugar levels. At the same time, bacteria associated with periodontal infection travel through your bloodstream and are able to affect blood glucose control. This means that maintaining your oral health is a way to prevent the progression of diabetes and developing related conditions such as heart disease, retinopathy and kidney failure. If you or someone you know has diabetes you should look for a dentist who treats the cause of dental disease and has a program to eliminate the periodontal pathogens that are associated with causing or worsening diabetes.  If you send an request to the e-mail address on this site we can give you a list of dentists who treats the cause not just the symptoms.

FLOSSING, IS IT A WASTE OF TIME?

According to the Waterpik company traditional flossing is not necessary and you can just use a “Waterflosser”.   Well I do believe that if you evaluate the effectiveness of most people’s  traditional flossing using their fingers to hold the floss, you will find it not effective especially in the back of the mouth.  However a person who uses and is properly instructed in using a specific floss holder and floss combination can be very very effective and efficient. As a Bacteriologist, a Periodontist, and a Preventive Dentist the idea that this device eliminates the need for flossing is a terrible joke on the health of the general public.  A WATERFLOSSER/WATERPIK has an important place in oral hygiene and in preventing dental disease, but when Waterpik says that this device is a substitute for flossing then they might as well also say if you use a WATERFLOSSER/WATERPIK you also do not have to BRUSH your teeth!!  Of course if they said that people would laugh at them. The only purpose of cleaning your teeth is to remove the bacterial dental plaque which adheres to the surface of the tooth and which is responsible for Dental Decay and Periodontal/Gum disease.  What Waterpik has show with their research is that the Waterflosser/Waterpik helps REDUCE plaque and reduce inflammation, BUT they never showed any research comparing the Waterflosser/Waterpik to the combination of “proper”  Brushing, flossing, and “Waterflossing”.  If that was done I am certain it would show the same results we have gotten.  The research we have done comparing hundreds of patients who brushed, flossed, and  used a Waterflosser/Waterpik compared to some who only used a Waterflosser/Waterpik or compared to some who brushed and used a Waterflosser/Waterpik showed a dramatically better result when all three were used together.   And the secret is also not WHAT you use, but HOW you use it.   In our office the BEST RESULTS have been accomplished by using one specific Electric Toothbrush along with one specific Floss Holder and one specific type of Floss, along with one specific model of the Waterflosser by Waterpik.   We also have found that a Specially trained Dental Hygienist acting as an Instructor and Coach can  improve the patients results dramatically.   In many cases patients who had a history of continuous dental problems and who’s home care could be demonstrated to be ineffective when judged using a Phase Microscope were improved so that they not only demonstrated 100% effective elimination of the disease causing dental plaque from their teeth, but in addition had no new dental disease year after year since they changed what they were doing.

This article submitted by Dr. A. Vandiveer Strait, DDS, FAGD Wilton, CT

PREVENTIVE DENTISTRY THAT WORKS

Even without knowing anything about you or your family I can absolutely guarantee that had you had better preventive dental care you would not be in situation you are in and that goes for your entire family. You probably never thought about it, but your dentist probably only treats the symptoms of dental disease and not the CAUSE.  Today there is effective antibacterial technology that treats the cause utilizing improved oral hygiene techniques, the antibacterial product Therasol, and the use of a Phase microscope by your dentist and hygienist to monitor and ensure that you eliminate the bacteria that cause dental disease.  You might search online for a dentist in your area who offers this or look up and call Oratec a company totally dedicated to Preventive Dentistry and oral health.  I am sure they can give you the name of a dentist in your area who uses this highly effective technology.

WHAT’S IN YOUR MOUTH?

Man has suffered seemingly from the beginning of existence from Dental Caries (Decay) and Periodontal (Gum) Disease with resulting loss of tooth structure, recession and loss of supporting structures and loss of the teeth themselves as well as all the associated pain, discomfort, aggravation and expense without any sure way to prevent this from happening.  All past efforts such as tooth brushing, flossing, irrigation, use of fluoride, sealants, mouthwashes, toothpastes, etc. have only reduced the amount of disease and destruction not eliminated it. Sadly almost without exception the public thinks that is the best we can do, that there are no better answers, and that dental disease and losing teeth are just part of life.

According to the CDC (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  47.2% of adults aged 30 years or older have some form of periodontal disease; that is 93,000,000 (93 million adult Americans).  Exact statistics on the incidence of gingivitis and periodontal disease in Europe and Worldwide are hard to find, but based on US Statistics it is shocking to realize that worldwide it is probable that more than 1.8 Billion people on Earth suffer from some sort of periodontal disease.

An alarming fact is that the bacteria that cause Gingivitis and Periodontal disease can go anywhere in the body and have been shown to be associated with Heart Disease, Stroke, Diabetes, Obesity, adverse pregnancy outcomes, Osteoporosis, Respiratory Disease, Cancer, higher risk of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Alzheimer’s and Dementia as either a contributory or causative factor in the same way smoking is associated with Cancer.

The impact of dental disease worldwide is staggering: Besides the untold pain, suffering, and impact on systemic health, the global impact of dental disease amounts to well over US $400,000,000,000.00 dollars (400 Billion).

I want to mention here that my experience with using antibacterial therapy coupled with really effective home care while treating thousands of patients over my career has convinced me that not only can we radically reduce periodontal disease, but we can also radically reduce Dental Caries/ Dental Decay.  I believe although we are focusing on periodontal disease we need to note that preventive dental care can and has eliminated decay as an issue for thousands of patients.

There are over 600 varieties of microorganisms which can be found in the mouth.  A relatively small number of varieties are bad/ pathogenic (disease causing).  The consensus seems to be that the actual number of proven pathogens is 20 or less depending on whose research you use.  There are two main characteristics of these oral pathogenic bacteria (those bacteria which can cause decay or periodontal disease).  One is that they are anaerobic (do not like oxygen) and like to live where there is little or no oxygen, like between the teeth, under the gums, or in defects in the teeth or restorative dental work.   The second is that they have an incredibly fast metabolism (they move about  and multiply rapidly).   Because of this fast metabolism they need food constantly and form chemical which enable them to do this.  Because of the action of these bad/pathogenic bacteria our bodies immune system reacts to defend us from these bacteria.  The immune system walls off and tries to destroy these bad/pathogenic bacteria, but unfortunately in the process of building this defensive “wall”  the body has to break down a small amount of tissue structure and you do not get this back.   As a result over time this causes loss of the attachment mechanism that hold the teeth in place (gum recession, increase in crevise/pocket depth, and bone loss).  As this process progresses the teeth have less support and may become mobile,  the roots are exposed which are much more vulnerable than the enamel to wear, erosion, and decay.   This process may continue until tooth loss occurs. (During the entire time that an individual has Periodontal Disease it is important to note that the Disease causing Bacteria can and do enter the lymphatic and blood supply of the individual person and contribute or cause a negative impact on the body by contributing or causing the diseases and conditions we mentioned earlier)

SEE MY NEXT ARTICLE /BLOG  “THE SOLUTION”

Pregnancy and Oral Health

Pregnancy brings about incredible changes in a woman’s body. With all the excitement and doctor’s appointments, we understand it can be easy to forget to schedule a visit to the dentist. There are various reasons why it is not only safe but important to do so as soon as you find out you’re pregnant. Hormonal changes can have an effect on your gums and you may suddenly find your gums bleed more easily, or you may snack more often and realize there is a chance you have developed cavities. There is also an association between gum disease, or periodontal infection, and risk of preterm birth, preeclampsia, or a low birth weight baby.  It is encouraged to schedule a routine dental exam and to take x-rays as needed. The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have determined that it is safe to have routine digital x-rays and cleanings during pregnancy.  Most importantly find out is your dentist has either a phase microscope or other diagnostic technology to identify the oral/periodontal bacteria that are associated with periodontal disease and risk during pregnancy.  Also make sure he has a program to eliminate these bacteria which is totally safe during pregnancy as well as a home care program follow up to make sure these pathogenic bacteria do not return.  If you need the name of a dentist who has the training and technology to treat and eliminate the cause of periodontal disease send an e-mail to the address on this site and we will provide a list for you.