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                                                        DR. DAN PETERSON

                                                                      1415 SAGE STREET ~ GERING, NEBRASKA 69341 
      Call: 308-436-3491           

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Diabetes makes you more prone to tooth decay, gum disease, salivary gland dysfunction, fungal infection, inflammatory skin disease, infections, taste impairment and delayed healing

November is National Diabetic Month

The three significant problems seen in the mouth from diabetes are gum disease, saliva problems and infections.

It is estimated that one-third of the population in the U.S. has diabetes.....

     However,  only one-half of these individuals are diagnosed.  Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to the development of oral infections and periodontal disease than those who do not have diabetes.  

     Oral infections tend to be more severe in someone with diabetes than a non-diabetic.  Diabetics who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels also have more oral health problems.  These infections occur more often after puberty and in aging individuals. 

What kinds of problems will you experience?

     Diabetics may experience decrease in salivary flow and burning mouth or tongue.  Dry mouth also may develop, causing an increased incidence of decay.  Gum recession has been found to occur more frequently and more extensively in moderate-and poorly-controlled diabetic patients because plaque responds differently, creating more harmful proteins in the gums.  

     To prevent problems with bacterial infections in the mouth, you may need antibiotics, medicated mouth rinses and more frequent cleanings

      Diabetics are more prone to the development of gum disease (periodontal disease )from gingivitis that is caused by the presence of bacteria in plaque. Plaque is the white sticky film that accumulates on teeth both above and below the gum line that can harden into a rough yellow or brown deposit called tartar.

 Any periodontal disease you may develop can be more severe and harder to control.

  Without regular dental checkups, periodontal disease may result if gingivitis is left untreated.  It can also cause inflammation and destruction of tissues surrounding and supporting teeth, gums, bone and fibers which hold the gums to the teeth. Gum infections can make it hard to control blood sugar. 

     Once a gum infection starts, it can take a long time to heal. If the infection is severe, teeth can loosen or even fall out.  Periodontal or gum disease is the main cause of tooth loss in adults!

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     Make sure to take extra good care of your mouth and have dental infections treated immediately.  We have a special time set aside each day for emergency appointments for our patients.  

     Diabetics who receive good dental care and have good insulin control typically have a better chance at avoiding gum disease to help prevent tooth loss.  You can do these simple things to help prevent periodontal disease:


Diet and exercise may be the most important changes that you can make to improve your quality of life and oral health.  


Brush your teeth after each meal.


Floss daily.


Scrap you tongue with a tongue scrapper and BreathRx gel.


Be sure both their medical and dental care providers are aware of your medical history and periodontal status.  


Be aware of your blood sugar levels, triglycerides and cholesterol levels and have them checked on a regular basis. 

bulletIf your gums bleed while you are brushing your teeth or eating, or a bad taste stays in your mouth, go to the dentist.  Tell him about any other changes you see, such as white patches, in your mouth.

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What is the best time to receive dental care?

    If your blood sugar is not under control, talk with both your dentist and physician about receiving elective dental care. 


 Dental procedures should be as short and as stress free as possible.


 Make morning appointments because blood glucose levels tend to be under better control at this time of day.


If you have a scheduled appointment, eat and take your medications as directed.


Test your blood sugar level and take your blood pressure and bring these results with you to our office.


Be prepared to update your health/dental history at each visit so we can provide you with the best possible care for your condition.


See your doctor before scheduling treatment for periodontal disease.  Have your doctor send your dentist records on your overall medical condition BEFORE treatment starts.


Postpone non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.  However, abscesses should be treated right away.


See your dentist on a regular basis, every 3 to 4 months, for exams and cleanings. Keep him informed of your health status and if you have any problems controlling your blood sugar.


Know that healing time will take longer due to your diabetic condition.


Follow your individualized meal plan and learn more about meal planning and diabetes for better blood sugar control

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Good blood sugar control can prevent gum problems


Yet again dentists find themselves on the front lines of a larger medical front. Dentists are  well positioned to help prevent and combat the complications of diabetes. Treating gum disease in diabetic patients can help them keep their diabetes under control. Evidence of this was noted by Dr. Sebastian Ciancio in an April 2004 Dental Practice Report article, "A conversation with Dr. Sebastian Ciancio."

"We have data that shows if patients are diabetic and we treat their periodontal disease, their diabetes improves markedly," Dr. Ciancio observed.

Plus, the American Diabetes Association Web site flatly states: "Gum disease can make diabetes harder to control."

Dentists can be among the first to urge patients to get tested for the chronic disease. As a dentist may be the first health- care professional to suspect a patient has diabetes, dentists can order appropriate tests or refer patients to physicians to be tested.2/06

The Food and Drug Administration today approved a wristwatch-like device  that provides adult diabetics with more information for managing their disease.  It is intended for use along with, not as a replacement for, finger-prick blood tests to monitor glucose. The GlucoWatch Biographer, made by Cygnus Inc., of Redwood City, Calif., extracts fluid through the skin by sending out tiny electric currents. Glucose levels are measured using this fluid every 20 minutes for 12 hours-even during sleep.  The device sounds an alarm if patient's glucose reaches dangerous levels, thus helping patients manage a potential problem.
Currently the GlucoWatch measurements must be used along with finger pricks to ensure accurate results 3/01

 (Information provided by Academy of General Dentistry and American Dietetic Association)

Visit: The Mouth-Body Connection, Diabetes by American Academy of Periodontology

National Institute of Diabetes 

About Diabetes

    Click here to view oral health and diabetes.

February 06, 2008

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PLEASE NOTE: The information contained herein is intended for educational purposes only.  It is not intended and should not be construed as the delivery of dental/medical care and is not a substitute for personal hands on dental/medical attention, diagnosis or treatment.  Persons requiring diagnosis, treatment, or with specific questions are urged to contact your family dental/health care provider for appropriate care.
This site is privately and personally sponsored, funded and supported by Dr. Peterson.  We have no outside funding.
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