Hanover Dentist Discusses Oral Health and Overall Health

At Smiles on Broadway, there is more to proper oral care than just having a beautiful and healthy smile. Researchers have found that there are over 100 medical conditions that can be detected in the early stages by a dentist. Some of these health conditions include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory disease
  • Osteoporosis
  • Heart Disease
  • Pregnancy issues

Find out more about the link between your oral health and overall health before it’s too late. See our dentist.

Dentist in Hanover PA

Dental Office Screening Identifies Diabetes

Hanover DentistBy: Salynn Boyls of MedPage Today

Screening for diabetes during a dental office visit is feasible and may represent an effective strategy for identifying millions of Americans who are diabetic or pre-diabetic but don’t know it, researchers said here.

As many as 30% of the 29 million diabetics in the United States have not been diagnosed, and 90% of the estimated 86 million Americans with prediabetes are also unaware of their risk, Saleh Aldasouqi, MD, of Michigan State University, East Lansing, said at an afternoon media briefing from the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologist’s 24th Annual Scientific and Clinical Conference.

Earlier in the day, Aldasouqi presented findings from a prospective study of 500 consecutive patients who completed a 14-question diabetes risk survey in their dentists’ office. The dental patients also agreed to have a finger stick blood draw to measure A1c levels.

None of the patients had a prior diagnosis of diabetes or pre-diabetes, and the screening revealed that 19.2% were pre-diabetic and 1.2% had diabetes.

“This was a cohort of patients attending a suburban dental practice who were more likely than the general population to see a physician regularly,” Aldasouqi said, adding that the diagnostic potential of dental-office screening would likely be much higher among populations who see a dentist more often than a doctor.

“60% to 70% of the population visits a dentist once or twice a year, and many of these people don’t have a family doctor,” he told MedPage Today. “I see great opportunity for screening (in the dental office setting).”

‘Dental Office Screening is The Future’

Susan Maples, DDS, developed the screening survey and conducted the screenings and finger stick blood draws at her private dental practice in Holt, Michigan.

Maple told MedPage Today that while very few dentists in the U.S. currently screen for any systemic disease, that is bound to change.

“I can tell you that only 1% to 2% of dental practices in the United States are doing anything right now regarding general health, but it is our future,” she said.

She added that the bidirectional relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease makes a strong case for dental office screening.

“Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to more severe, earlier onset periodontal disease with more complications and having periodontal disease makes it very hard for diabetics to achieve glycemic control,” she said.

The 500-patient study cohort included 302 women and 198 men over the age of 18, with a mean age of 48 years who were treated consecutively at Maples’ practice.

The 14-item survey asked responders to answer ‘yes’ or ‘no’ to questions designed to assess diabetes risk, including “Are you more than 10% above your ideal body weight,?” “Is your waist size over 35″ for women and 40″ for men,?” “Do you tend to be slow to heal from a cut or bruise,?” and “Do you experience experience inexplicable hunger, thirst or frequent urination?”

The survey also included questions about the use of hypertension medications and statins.

1 in 3 Americans Projected to Have Diabetes by 2050

Predictors of prediabetes or diabetes included older age, body weight 10% above normal, waist size about 40″ for men and 35″ for women, hypertension, abnormal lipid levels, tingling in the hands or feet and visual blurring, cataracts and glaucoma.

Maples noted that the projection by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that 1 in 3 Americans will be diabetic by 2050 makes the identification of better strategies for identifying patients with diabetes and prediabetes a huge priority.

“We are really talking about screening all adults, not just people with periodontal disease,” she said. “If we identify people when they are still in the pre-diabetes stage we can help them change behaviors and prevent diabetes.”

Aldasouqi said he became convinced of the potential of dental office diabetes screening to do just that during the course of the study.

“We hope this will be implemented in dental offices around the country,” he said, adding that identifying patients with pre-diabetes is essential because lifestyle modifications and pharmacotherapy can dramatically reduce diabetes risk.

Primary Source
American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists
Source Reference: Aldasouqui SA, et al “Diabetes detection in he dental office: A promising emerging opportunity for screening for undiagnosed prediabetes and diabetes” AACE 2015.

Chew on This: Foods for Healthy Teeth

Hanover PA DentistNo time to brush or floss your teeth? When brushing or flossing isn’t convenient, you can still keep your mouth feeling fresh by eating certain foods. When you’re on the go or in a hurry, try grabbing one of these foods to munch on to help fight plaque and keep your teeth healthy.

Cheese provides several benefits for your teeth, such as preserves and rebuilds tooth enamel, prevents plaque and balances your mouth’s acidity level. It also helps to produce saliva, which kills the bacteria that cause tooth decay and gum disease.

Tea contains polyphenols, which slows the growth of bacteria associated with tooth decay and gum disease. It prevents the bacteria in your mouth from turning sugar into plaque. Tea also fights the bacteria that cause bad breath.

Crunchy fruits and vegetables, such as apples, carrots and celery, require extra chewing which produces saliva. Saliva helps to neutralize bacteria that cause tooth decay. Also, chewing on naturally abrasive foods removes stuck food particles, massages gums and cleans between teeth.

Vitamin-rich foods containing calcium and phosphorus can help keep tooth enamel strong and healthy. Acidic foods may cause tiny lesions on tooth enamel. Calcium and phosphate help redeposit minerals back into these lesions.

Sugarless gum contains xylitol that helps to prevent plaque and aids in producing saliva. Chewing sugarless gum also keeps your breath smelling fresh.

Raisins contain phytochemicals, which fights bacteria that causes tooth decay. Some compounds in raisins also affect the growth of bacteria that is associated with gum disease.

Water is the best way to stimulate saliva, which is your body’s greatest defense against bacteria that cause plaque and cavities. If you can’t brush after eating, rinse your mouth with water to assist in preventing tooth decay.

It is important to have a balanced diet for your oral and overall health. While these foods help to combat plaque buildup and tooth decay, no food can take the place of daily brushing and flossing. It is vital to continue your daily oral hygiene regimen and keep up with regular scheduled appointment with our Hanover dentist.