10 Latest “Impossible” Surprises in Dentistry | Alhambra Dentist

  1. Root canal treatment can be painless. Yes, it can be, if it is done in a caring, careful manner using the latest and best technology in anesthesia. By caring, it is meant that the dental environment, the staff and the doctor reflect the confident, sincere, caring attitude that can quickly relieve the patient’s anxieties and gain the patient’s complete trust. Then, by using the latest in painless techniques, the patient can experience an entirely new painless experience. Yes, even the injection can be invisible and painless. After the injection the patient will often say something like, “What was that?”, “Did you just give me a shot?”. By seeing your dentist regularly, hopefully you won’t need a root canal. But if you do, don’t worry and don’t postpone it. It won’t hurt.
  2. Fillings don’t have to be done with shots and drills. Small or medium size cavities can be cleaned with “air abrasion” technology. Under a surgical microscope, the cavity is located and painlessly air-brushed with a miniaturized nozzle emitting a fine stream of powder. This is painlessly done, and many cavities can be filled at the same time. This method is especially good when cavities are not deep. The cavities are filled with hard, durable composite fillings made of ceramic particles filled with resins. The fillings are tooth-colored and are practically invisible.
  3. You don’t have to undergo gum surgery to treat advanced gum disease. Adults lose teeth mostly because of advanced gum disease. Plaque deposits under the gum lead to infection and inflammation in susceptible patients (who have a genetic predisposition for this disease). Bone loss results and eventually the teeth loosen and are lost. Gum surgery allows the surgeon to “reflect” the gums away from the root so that plaque can be thoroughly removed. New technology, called dental endoscopy, allows the dentist to see under the gums with a miniaturized fibro-optic camera that directs the ultrasonic instruments to vibrate away the plaque. The removal of plaque in this manner averts surgery and produces the same results as surgery, but without the downsides, which is pain, bleeding and swelling and occasional complications such as post-operative infections.
  4. Even loose teeth can be saved. When teeth are visibly loose, teeth are often extracted and replaced with dentures, bridges or implants. Traditionally, there are methods to save loose and mobile teeth. These methods include splinting, which calls for tying the loose teeth to the normal teeth with hidden braces, and thorough non-surgical gum treatment (See above paragraph on endoscopy). So, you don’t have to lose your teeth, even if they are loose.
  5. You can get a crown done in one appointment without impressions. Before the advent of CAD-CAM technology, the only way a crown could be done is for the dentist to remove the decay by prepping the tooth, taking impressions of the teeth and sending the impression to the laboratory where technicians make the crown. The process generally took two to three weeks. In the meantime, the patient wears a temporary crown. On the return visit, the tooth is usually numbed up again and the crown is fitted and cemented onto the tooth, if everything goes well. If not, the crown is returned to the lab and the temporary crown is placed back onto the tooth until the next visit. With the new CAD-CAM computer, your doctor takes an optical 3-D image of your teeth a special camera, creates a tooth for you with the computer, and then directs the computer to mill out a new tooth out of a block of pure porcelain. There would be no human error and the fit is consistently precise and accurate. All this is done in one visit, and no more than two hours in most cases.
  6. You don’t have to wait for X-rays to be processed by a machine. Digital x-rays are instantly projected onto the computer monitor in front of where you are sitting. You no longer have to look at a tiny spot on a small dental film to see what the dentist is talking about. Now the image is 40 times the size of the film and you can see what the doctor sees. Besides, these images can be enhanced by color and texture so that you can see the “pathology” also.
  7. MRI-like 3-D imaging has come to dentistry. A select number of dental offices are using 3-D scans to image teeth, bone, gum, nerve, root formation, blood vessels and sinuses in appropriate situations, such as implant placement, root canal treatment and gum treatment. 3-D scan allows the dentist to see and measure accurately (up to .1 millimeter or 256th of an inch). This information can lead to better diagnosis and more alternatives in treatment. Additionally, complications are avoided through the use of this diagnostic advancement.
  8. Denture patients can have a virtual face-lift when they have new dentures that are anchored to mini-dental implants. Yes, mini-dental implants, which are miniaturized implants, can be placed in a short time without surgery and stitching. Then dentures can be constructed in a few hours that would lock on to these mini-implants. These dentures are so tightly secured onto the mini-implants that the patient will have a hard time removing them in the beginning. Because the dentures are locked onto implants, special cosmetic enhancements are now possible. The bite and the arrangement of the teeth can virtually duplicate that of the idealized originals. The effect is a virtual facelift…all done in one day.
  9. Test-Drive Veneers™ invented by this columnist, can be placed onto the front teeth in three minutes or less to give the patient a test-drive experience of what it would be like to have a new, great smile. Up until this innovation was configured by the author, you could only try out veneers if they are made up by a laboratory first. This entailed one appointment for impressions for the lab tech to fabricate temporary veneers, a second appointment would be needed to try out these temporaries. Test-Drive Veneers™ combine art and technology to adapt new, beautiful veneers to your teeth in a matter of 3 minutes or less. They look shiny and real to begin with. But they can be changed, moved or altered in color to suit the preferences of the patient. The patient can realistically anticipate the final result by seeing the virtual result. Most of the time, the final veneers are much more stunning than the temporaries. You have a lot to look forward to…, like having a great, magnetic smile for the rest of your life.
  10. If one tooth looks longer than the others because the gums have receded, gum repair can now be done in 30 minutes or less through a tiny “pinhole” without cutting or stitching. This instant, virtually painless procedure has been invented and patented by the author. The International Journal of Periodontics and Restorative Dentistry, a highly respected, peer-review dental journal, will publish this innovative method, called Pinhole Surgical Technique®, in its October 2012 issue. Prominent figures in the dental profession have described this new method as “a major breakthrough” in the field of gum regeneration. So, if you have a “long tooth” that shows in your smile, you can have that long-tooth look repaired in 30 minutes or less.

Dr. John Chao is well known as an authority on dentistry throughout Southern California. He is the host of Smile Talk, a popular radio talk show on KFWB 980 AM, airing 7-8 p.m. on Sundays. He is a lecturer and clinical instructor at the Ostrow of Dentistry of USC in the Community Dentistry Division, teaching on the subjects of pain and anxiety management, ethics and professionalism. For his work at USC, he has been named “Outstanding Part-time Faculty for 2012.” As the inventor of the “Pinhole Surgical Technique®”, he uses his office in Alhambra as an educational center for interested dentists from the US and other countries. For questions, comments or information, contact Dr. Chao at ChickensWelcome.com, or 626-308-9104.

 

90% of Cells in the Body Are Not Human | Alhambra Dentist

But You Need Them to Maintain Systemic and Dental Health

The vast majority (approximately 90%) of cells in the human body are not human at all, according to a 2006 article published in Cell, a highly respected peer-review research journal that covers a broad range of disciplines within life sciences. This profound discovery within the field of human biology is explained by the intriguing fact that many of these non-human cells play important roles in normal human physiology. These beneficial germs (microorganism) involved in the absorption of nutrients into the body, synthesis of vitamins and protection of human cells from infection. It may be said that survival of the human body (host) depends on the interaction between human and non-human cells. Therefore, it is not entirely correct to say that the human body remains healthy because it fights off bacterial invasion. Actually, it may be said that life is maintained by an interdependent, mutually beneficial coexistence between the human and non-human cells.

The human body contains “ecological niches”, such as the oral cavity, to acquire and retain beneficial microorganisms, according to a recent article published this year in Periodontology 2000, a highly respected journal in the field of dentistry. The latter article further stated that the oral cavity is a warm, wet and nutrient-rich environment that is ideal for supporting microbial growth. The benefit of having beneficial microorganisms is not without consequences. Undesirable microorganisms continually challenge the delicate biological balance between the human body (host) and beneficial non-human cells. The host deals with the microbial challenge through the release enzymes and immune factors in the saliva and the blood supply. Thus, in the healthy individual there exists a dynamic balance that arises out of numerous, complex host-microbial interactions. These interactions can be loosely called “inflammation”, a healing process. However, a substantial disruption of this balance over time can lead to chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation triggers the release of a cascade of self-destructive immune factors, such as white blood cells and enzymes, that may lead to adverse oral conditions, such as periodontitis (gum disease).

Furthermore, chronic inflammation and its associated toxic by-products may invariably be released into different parts of the body through the circulatory system. Recently research, widely disseminated through the news media, points to the close association between the oral inflammatory processes and systemic disorders, such as diabetes, arthrosclerosis, respiratory diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and certain forms of cancer and even low-weight or pre-term babies.

How does the body facilitate and accommodate beneficial microbes in the oral cavity? Dynamic balance is, by and large, maintained in biofilms, which are initially formed by host cells. This microscopically thin cellular scaffold initially attracts beneficial aerobic microbes that would exist in communal harmony with the host cells.

How do gum disease and cavities develop? Unwelcome anaerobic microbes may invade the biofilms in large numbers under certain conditions, such as inadequate oral hygiene, dry mouth and high sugar intake. The affected biofilms then become dental plaque, which leads to cavity formation and periodontal disease. It is also known that internal (endogenous) factors such as stress, and external (exogenous) factors such as smoking, are associated higher risk of occurrence of gum disease and cavities.

The take-home lesson of understanding this interesting aspect of oral biology is that oral health stems from a dynamic balance of cells of the human body with oral bacteria and other microbes. Provided the body is generally healthy (not under unusual stress), this biological balance can be maintained at a healthy level throughout an entire lifetime if healthy habits are followed on a daily basis, with professional care at regular intervals. These healthy habits include proper brushing, flossing and use of dental aids such as mouthwashes and hydroelectric devices (“water-pik,” “hydrofloss,” etc.). Proper nutrition, stress control and low intake of sugar products are also important in safeguarding this dynamic balance in the mouth. However, the patient should understand that since so many factors must be in sync to maintain this dynamic balance, even with the best of home care, there is no guarantee that this dynamic balance would not change. To avoid unpleasant surprises, it is therefore recommended that everyone see the dentist regularly for checkups.

An ancillary conclusion to be drawn from this up-to-date concept of biochemistry in the oral cavity is that antibiotics must not be taken indiscriminately. If antibiotics is prescribed, it is only for a particular condition, such as infection causing pain and swelling in the cheeks. Continual use of antibiotics to ameliorate recurrent acute conditions would tend to obliterate beneficial microbes, as well as those causing the infection. This results in difficulty to form a new dynamic balance that leads to more decay and gum infection. In fact, yeast and other opportunistic microorganisms may take over as a result. It is imperative that the offending tooth/teeth be treated or removed and replace. rather than depending on an antibiotic prescription when an infection recurs. Of course, it is better to prevent the problem in the first place by following good dental hygiene habits and seeing your dentist regularly for checkups and maintenance.

If you would like more information about systemic deseases, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

ALMOND ALERT! Almond Nuts Causing Epidemic of Broken Teeth | Alhambra Dentist

In the last few months, virtually every day, one or more patients have come in with cracked, broken or sensitive teeth. It’s an epidemic. The culprit is most often…ALMONDS. Recent publicity regarding the nutritional value of almonds has been abundant. These claims have basis in the numerous scientific studies dating as far back as the 1990’s. Most recently the International Society for Horticultural Science published the following statement: “Nuts have been shown to possess substances which significantly reduce risk of coronary heart disease, some types of cancer and several other diseases…” Hazelnuts and almonds, as well as other nuts, have been the subject of studies cited.

The nutritional value of almonds need not come at the expense of broken or cracked teeth. Almonds can be purchased in slivered form, albeit slightly costlier. Considering the cost of fillings and crowns, the cost of buying almonds in a “kinder” form is minimal. Another suggestion is to put almonds into a blender with milk or juices. Nutritional value is thus preserved without the risk of damaging teeth. While we are on the subject of foods damaging to teeth, be careful of the following:

Popcorn. Popcorn is a favorite vehicle for losing weight, if no butter is used. Popcorn is easily substituted for more caloric snacks. However, there is always a chance of a stray kernel that can crack or damage teeth. These little kernels are as hard as rocks.

The first thing that I do when I’m trying to lose weight is substitute something with low calories for my usual snacks. Popcorn is a great substitute for chips and other salty snacks, but a stray kernel (and there is always a stray kernel, isn’t there?) that hits your teeth right can fracture or break your teeth. Another thing to be on the lookout for with popcorn is the stray kernel shard. Sometimes those little pieces can get right under your gums against your tooth and be nearly impossible to get out since it is suctioned to the tooth.

Ice. While ice has more nutritional value than plain water, the pleasure of chewing on ice is again cracked teeth that may require costly dental restorations.

Hard candy. Hard candy may be delightful treats but may also expose teeth to higher risk of decay and breakage. Certain kinds of cough drops are also hard. Do not chew them. Let them melt in your mouth.

Foreign objects in food. Every now and then a patient reports having broken a tooth by biting on a tiny rock, sliver of metal or other kinds of foreign objects in his/her food. This could be food served at a restaurant or purchased from a supermarket. If this happens, you should notify the manager of the restaurant or market immediately. Preserve the foreign object and keep it in your possession. You may request reimbursement from the establishment for the expense of restoring the broken tooth.

If you have mouth odors, bad taste, bleeding/swollen gums or worn teeth, be sure to see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment. You should also contact your physician regarding the advisability of using nuts or any food supplement as a means of improving your health and lowering the risk of disease. But if you do experience a sharp pain in the tooth or jaw when you bite on something hard, go to your dentist right away before the nerve in the tooth gets damaged and needs root canal treatment.

If you would like more information about almonds, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Your Tongue and Bad Breath | Alhambra Dentist

In traditional Chinese medicine, some doctors can diagnose an issue just by looking at the patterns and colors on the tongue. Medical doctors and dentists can also tell a lot about your health by looking at your mouth and tongue.

What if you notice your tongue has white spots? It could be tongue plaque. Your tongue naturally cleans itself and renews the cells on the surface to get rid of bacteria, dead cells, and debris. But when someone has tongue plaque, that renewal doesn’t happen, and your tongue gets covered in a white film. This can happen with age, dry mouth, tobacco and alcohol use, and also with fever or illness. You can clean off tongue plaque by scraping your tongue and using mouthwash. There are a few other conditions that can cause white spots on your tongue. If you see separate white spots on your tongue, it could be a sign of a superficial fungal infection, an inflammatory condition, or early signs of tongue cancer. It would be best if you see your dentist or doctor when you suspect something is wrong.

Another reason for having white coating on your tongue is if you’ve been on antibiotics for a while. Prolonged antibiotic therapy could lead to a yeast infection in your mouth that turns your tongue white. For this reason, doctors will also encourage you take probiotics to replenish the “good” bacteria in your intestines when you are undergoing antibiotic therapy.

A healthy tongue should be pink and covered with small, uniform papillae bumps. When you’re brushing your teeth, it’s a good idea to brush your tongue to get rid of any bacteria that might be lingering on the surface. A tongue scraper also does the same thing and is a handy tool to have. Your dentist or dental hygienist can show you how to do this if you’re not sure.

Another side effect of having plaque on your tongue would be bad breath which has other causes. So, if you are plagued by bad breath, it could be periodontal (gum) disease. In this disease, bacteria induce a chronic inflammatory process which, over time, results in loss of bone around the roots of the teeth. This loss of bone is mostly symptom-free and painless until the advanced stages, when a white coating on the tongue appears, along with bad breath and loose teeth.

Untreated, periodontal disease is associated with systemic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, osteoarthritis and even Alzheimer’s disease. So, if you see white spots, a cream-colored coating or any lesions on your tongue, see your dentist or physician for diagnosis and treatment.

There appears to be more and more medical experiments and studies delving into what in Chinese medicine makes it work, how it works, and why it works. Maybe Chinese medicine has more to contribute to western medical science than what is known in the public sector.

If you would like more information about your tongue, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

November Declared National Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Month | Alhambra Dentist

It is important to maintain healthy gums as they contribute to our overall health in many ways. Unfortunately, through various reasons these gums can begin to recede. Not only is it an aesthetic issue, but it can become the reason you develop other health issues, both dental and otherwise. In order to treat this issue, we must undergo some type of gum recession treatment. And while there are a few options, Dr. John Chao’s Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation is a minimally-invasive treatment option that is taking the gum recession issue by storm. So much so, November 2018 is the inaugural year for the National Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Month, a month dedicated to spreading the word about this treatment option to the public.

“The need for an easier, less painful treatment for gum recession motivated me to invent Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation®,” says Dr. Chao. “Pinhole® is scalpel free, suture free and graft free. The entire procedure is done through small pinholes made in the gums.”

There are currently 3,100 dental professionals that offer the Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation treatment worldwide. Not only will this minimally-invasive treatment option going to offer little pain and recovery time but will give patients the ability to have a healthy smile that can last a lifetime.

To read the official press release regarding National Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation Month, click here.

To find out more information about the procedure, click here.

For Pinhole Gum Rejuvenation FAQs and to find a dentist, click here.

If you would like more information about Pinhole Surgical Technique, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Alzheimer’s Disease Is Linked to Oral Bacteria | Alhambra Dentist

Abnormal inflammation within the brain is thought to play a pivotal role in the development of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), according to a study in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease. The study further states that inflammation from the body may worsen that brain inflammation, specifically gum disease being a chronic infection associated with elevation of serum inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein), has been found to be associated with several systemic diseases, including AD. This study reports on the mechanisms through which gum disease can contribute to the onset and progression of AD.

In simple language, gum disease can cause the inflammatory level of the whole body to go up. This can raise the inflammatory level in the brain. Thus, heightened inflammation caused by gum disease can lead to AD. The good news is because chronic periodontitis is a treatable infection, it might be a readily modifiable risk factor for AD. In other words, treat gum disease and you will lower the risk of getting AD.

In confirmation of the above study, Dr. Judith Miklossy, the director of the International Alzheimer Research Center in Switzerland, states in an interview that, “Yes, six different periodontal pathogen spirochetes [gum disease bacteria] were found to be present in the brain in Alzheimer’s patients. Recently, we have reviewed all the data in respect to the detection of spirochetes in Alzheimer’s disease and the analysis of this data showed a very strong statistical association between the spirochetal infection in Alzheimer’s disease. So, it is extremely important to take care of the oral health.”

Spirochetes is a group of very toxic germs, some of which are associated with syphilis and Lyme disease, while others are found in the oral cavity. It is postulated that these oral types of spirochetes actually find their way to the brain to compound the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

So, the conclusion is very clear. See your dentist regularly. When you go to your regular dental check-up, seriously consider any advice given by your dentist about your gum condition. Remember, it’s not only your teeth, it’s your brain and the rest of your body that will benefit when your gums are healthy and free of any infection.

If you would like more information about Alzheimer’s disease, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Educating the Public About Pinhole | Alhambra Dentist

You may have heard of the saying “getting long in the tooth” when used to describe someone as aging. But have you ever thought about where this saying comes from? It turns out that as we age, our gums begin to recede. And with this recession comes an unattractive smile, an increased tooth sensitivity and a higher chance of tooth loss. In order to prevent this, your dental professional may suggest gum rejuvenation as a treatment option.

Gum rejuvenation is a ground-breaking dental procedure that will not only renew your bright smile, but can be done with no incisions, stitches or grafts. Created by Dr. John Chao, the Pinhole Surgical Technique is an increasingly popular option because the turnaround time is quick (procedure can be done in one visit), recovery time is minimal (patients have been able to eat the same day) and because there is no incisions or grafting, it is virtually pain-free.

This month is National Gum Rejuvenation Month and to celebrate, we have been filming a commercial to get the word out to the public about this life-changing procedure. Not only will the improvements Pinhole Surgical Technique made to their smiles boost their self-esteem and fix any sensitivity issues, but the health benefits and gum disease prevention will improve their overall quality of life. It is important that our patients have every treatment option available to give them the smiles they deserve. Look for our new commercial coming soon. If you would like to learn more about Pinhole Surgical Technique, visit www.AskYourDentistAboutPinhole.com.

If you would like more information about Pinhole Surgical Technique, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Good News on the Opioid War Front | Alhambra Dentist

New Study Shows Acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) in Combination are just as Effective as Narcotics

The National Institute on Drug Abuse stated in March 2018 that “Every day, more than 115 people in the United States die after overdosing on opioids. The misuse of and addiction to opioids – including prescription pain relievers, heroin and synthetic opioids such as fentanyl- is a serious national crisis that affects public health as well as social and economic welfare.” The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that the total “economic burden of prescription opioid misuse alone in the United States is $78.5 billion a year…”

There is good news on the war on opioids. It has been common in the U.S. to treat dental pain with a combination of acetaminophen and ibuprofen in lieu of opioids. A new study from an emergency department in New York tracking pain of the extremities further confirmed and extended the advocacy of this non-narcotic practice for the medical use.

This medical study was a randomized, controlled trial that compared the effectiveness of a combination of acetaminophen (Tylenol) and Ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) with combinations of acetaminophen with various dosages of oxycodone or codeine.

416 patients participated in the study. For blinding purposes (so no one knows what he/she is taking), the combinations of medications were delivered in identical capsules. Pain was assessed on a scale of 0 – 10, with 0 representing no pain, and 10, extreme pain. The reduction in pain score for the acetaminophen-ibuprofen group was 4.3 compared to 4.4, 3.9 and 4.2 in the groups who had taken oxycodone or codeine. The difference was determined to be statistically insignificant.

The authors concluded that, “For patients presenting to the ED [ Emergency Department] with acute extremity pain, there were no statistically significant or clinically important differences in pain reduction at 2 hours among single-dose treatment with ibuprofen and acetaminophen or with 3 different opioid and acetaminophen combination analgesics,” and that “further research to assess adverse events and other dosing may be warranted”. In other words, the non-narcotic group received the same degree of pain reduction as those groups who had received narcotics.

When you have need for pain pills, ask your physician (and your dentist, if appropriate) whether you can control pain with the acetaminophen-ibuprofen combination, in lieu of taking opioids. Do not exceed the recommended daily dosages nor take these non-opioid medications long-term without consultation with your doctor. Never take more than you need to control pain.

If you would like more information about the war on opioids, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Too Much Sugar: Diabetes and Gum Disease | Alhambra Dentist

We know too much sugar can cause cavities. So, it is not surprising that too much glucose, also called sugar in your blood from diabetes, can cause pain, infection, and other problems in your mouth, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases. Glucose is present in your saliva – the fluid in your mouth that makes it wet. When diabetes is not controlled, high glucose levels in your saliva help harmful bacteria grow. These bacteria combine with food to form a soft, sticky film called plaque. Plaque also comes from eating foods that contain sugars or starches. Some types of plaque cause tooth decay or cavities. Other types of plaque cause gum disease and bad breath.  Therefore, diabetics who are not careful in controlling sugar intake are more prone to cavities as well as gum disease.

Emerging research also suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is two-way, according to the American Diabetic Association. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, especially when blood glucose is high, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious gum disease). People with diabetes are at an increased risk for serious gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infection and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums.

It can be said that overconsumption of sugar may be a major cause of two of the most prevalent diseases in the world – gum disease and diabetes.

National surveys have found that the average American consumes around 85 grams of sugar every day. According to the new USDA guidelines, we should really be eating a fraction of that amount. The recommended sugar intake for adult women is 22 grams of sugar per day, for adult men it’s 36 grams daily, and for children it’s 12 grams a day.

Over time, consistently taking in more sugar will lead to insulin disease, otherwise known as diabetes. What’s alarming is that many people do not realize they are on the road to diabetes. This epidemic of “on the way to diabetes” is called prediabetes. Type 2 diabetes doesn’t appear suddenly and the slow, long and invisible road that is “prediabetes,” which is where blood sugar levels are consistently higher than normal over a long time, slowly affects insulin signaling.

So, overconsumption of sugar leads not only to cavities and gum disease, but also can predispose you to prediabetes and even diabetes. In summary, cut down on the sugar intake, be consistent with your home dental care, as well as your dental visits.

If you would like more information about the affects of too much sugar, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.

Good News: Healthy Gums Lower Blood Sugar | Alhambra Dentist

According to the American Diabetic Association, roughly 10% of the U.S. population have diabetes and about 30% (84 million) have prediabetes. 1.5 million Americans are diagnosed with diabetes. It is the 7th leading cause of death in the U.S.

Now for the good news…

It has been known for a long time that people with diabetes, especially uncontrolled diabetes, have more gum disease than those without diabetes. According to the American Dental Association, scientists are finding that gum disease may raise blood sugar levels in people with and without diabetes. Conversely, the good news is that in people with type 2 diabetes, treatment of severe gum disease can lead to a drop in blood sugar levels. The benefit is about the same as you might find if you add another drug to your usual diabetes medicine.

For the 84 million Americans who have prediabetes, there is also good news. The American Dental Association has reported a study in Denmark that showed periodontitis accelerates the progression of prediabetes into diabetes. Hence, treating and controlling periodontitis is a way to lower the risk onset of diabetes for these 84 million Americans who are pre-diabetic.

How would one know whether or not one is already pre-diabetic? When you see your physician on a regular basis for routine blood tests, screening for diabetes will reveal your status. One of the clues to whether you have additional risk factors for diabetes is a family history of diabetes. And incidentally, one of the risk factors for gum disease is family history of gum disease and loss of teeth.

How does gum disease make blood sugar levels go up? Scientists think that some of the germs in infected gums lead into the bloodstream after normal activities such as chewing or tooth brushing. This starts a reaction from your body’s defense system, which in turn produces some powerful molecules (biochemicals, such as cytokines) that have harmful effects all over your body. One of the things these molecules do is to raise blood sugar levels.

Since 40% of the population has issues with diabetes or prediabetes, and half of the population have periodontitis, it is essential that everyone visit the physician and the dentist regularly.  It will save your life and your teeth. Healthy teeth mean a healthy life, and a healthy life means healthy teeth.

If you would like more information about gum disease, call Dr. Chao in Alhambra, CA at (626) 308-9104 or visit www.alhambradental.com.

Dr. Chao proudly serves Alhambra and all surrounding areas.