Diabetes And Your Oral Health

WILLIAMSPORT AND COLLEGEVILLE, PENNSYLVANIA – When it comes to our patients’ oral health, we are vigilant in our efforts to maintain healthy gums. This is especially true for our diabetic patients.

People with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease, says Collegeville, PA periodontist Dr. David DiGiallorenzo. Gum infections can make it more difficult for our patients to control their blood sugar, and once infection sets in, it can take a long time to heal. The worse the infection is, the more likely it is to lead to tooth loss.

“I can place a dental implant if a patient loses a tooth, but I would much rather help my patients preserve their natural teeth for a lifetime,” says the Collegeville, PA dental implants specialist. Gum disease in its early form is gingivitis and is caused by plaque germs. If you have diabetes, it is vitally important to brush with a toothpaste that has been recognized for gum care and is FDA approved for gingivitis, according to Dr. Bill Devizio, a dentist who is vice president of Colgate Dental Research. Devizio says Colgate Total reduces 90 percent more plaque germs 12 hours after brushing, compared to regular fluoride toothpaste.

The Gum Disease/Diabetes Connection
Research has shown that the connection between oral health and diabetes is a two-way street, says DiGiallorenzo, who treats diabetic patients at his Collegeville, PA periodontics practice.

Periodontal disease can cause increased blood glucose levels and contribute to the progression of diabetes, according to the American Diabetes Association. Diabetics are at more risk for serious gum disease because their bodies are more susceptible to bacterial infections and they aren’t able to fight bacteria that invade the gums as effectively as those who don’t have diabetes.

Treating Gum Disease
If you are a diabetic with gum disease, the good news is that you have come to the right place for treatment. Our office effectively treats gum disease with the state-of-the-art Laser Assisted New Attachment Procedure. Called LANAP for short, this procedure is a virtually pain-free method of treating gum disease that involves no cutting and no suturing. Instead, a laser is used to gently pass between the teeth and the gumline to zap away disease and leave healthy tissue in its place. The process uses ultrasonic root debridement to clean root surfaces, followed by a different laser setting to clot the blood so we get a good seal, which removes the need to use sutures.
Because it is less invasive in nature, our patients quickly recover after the procedure.

“We’ve had patients tell us they went out for a Philly cheesesteak sandwich after their procedure- something they hadn’t been able to eat in years,” DiGiallorenzo says. Patients who undergo the procedure with one of our Williamsport or Collegeville, PA periodontists are happy with the results.

Approximately 285 million people- including about 21 million Americans- are affected by diabetes worldwide, and this number is only expected to continue rising, according to information posted on the American Academy of Periodontology website.

© 2010 Master Google and Dr. David Digiallorenzo.

Meet Dr. D

Dr. David DiGiallorenzo received his training at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Periodontics and Periodontal Prosthesis in the early 1990s. His training included prosthodontics, orthodontics, periodontics, and advanced oral reconstructive techniques, including oral implantology.

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