• Tana Busch, D.D.S.  
    • Kevin Deutsch, D.D.S.  
    • Dr. Tom Hutchison, D.D.S.
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HEALTH & EDUCATION

METABOLIC SYNDROME: THE MOUTH-BODY CONNECTION

Metabolic Syndrome is a group of conditions including high blood pressure, excess blood sugar, excess fat in the abdominal area, high cholesterol and high triglyceride levels. Several studies have shown a link between periodontal disease and Metabolic Syndrome due to the common inflammatory disease pathway of both these conditions. The presence of Metabolic Syndrome may double your risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes.

What is the link between Metabolic Syndrome and periodontal disease? Inflammation is the key biologic factor that leads to the conditions causing Metabolic Syndrome. There is a correlation between periodontal disease and inflammation that contributes to this disorder. In addition to the local destruction of gum and bone in the mouth, the diseased gum tissue allows inflammatory factors and normal oral bacteria to enter the bloodstream.

What can be done about Metabolic Syndrome? A team approach by your dentist is necessary to manage and reduce the severity of Metabolic Syndrome. Periodontal therapy has been shown to reduce the inflammation associated with this disorder. Life-style changes (healthy diet and exercise) are important to reduce risk factors.

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Oral Bacteria Can Be “Transkissable”!

Did you know that many of the oral bacteria that lead to cavities and gum disease can be transmitted from one person to another? This transmission can occur vertically (from parent to child), or horizontally (a partner, family member, or group such as daycare).

What Can We Do?
Transmission can be a factor of levels of bacteria present, frequency of contact, as well as susceptibility. Therefore, the best thing we can do to prevent infecting our loved ones is to limit the bacteria present in our own mouths. This can be done through proper hygiene and treatment of dental infections.

Children are especially prone during development, as they have not yet built any natural immunity. Infants whose mothers have high levels of cavity-causing bacteria, a result of untreated dental infections, are at greater risk of acquiring the organisms earlier than children whose mothers have low levels. Limiting saliva-sharing activities may help decrease this risk, as well as parents reducing their own bacterial levels prior to birth.

At 8118 Dental Professionals, we take a comprehensive approach to treating your oral bacteria. In addition to traditional treatment of cavities and gum disease, we also offer bacterial and genetic testing of saliva.

At our office, we use clinical laboratory services from OralDNA Labs® to ensure we are giving our patients the best oral health information possible. OralDNA Labs® is a specialty diagnostics company designed to provide reliable, definitive and cost effective clinical tests that guide oral health professionals in detecting and diagnosing disease at an earlier, more treatable stage.

For more information on prenatal care, and our laboratory testing, please contact us!

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Exercise and Tooth Decay

IS THERE A CONNECTION BETWEEN EXERCISE AND TOOTH DECAY?

During the 2012 Summer olympics, 278 atheletes were examined by a team of dentists as part of a routine check-up for participants. A majority of these individuals, including those from the U.S. and other countries with access to dental care, were found to have sub-standard dental health, particularly rampant decay of their teeth.

While most of these individuals were young adults and had not been to a dentist in a few years, the findings were still a surprise. Why would olympic atheletes, individuals in peak shape and overall health, suffer from such a disease?

The initial thought was dietary, as many of these folks ate a steady diet of energy bars, recovery sport drinks, and other supplements that are high in sugar. However, during further review, no direct relation between diet and overall dental health could be established, as many people, including non-atheletes, eat the same diet but are not inflicted with the same decay issues.

To take this concept to another level, a study was conducted at the University Hiedleberg Hospital in Germany. 35 atheletes of various sex, race and age were paired with 35 similar individuals who were not atheletes. An initial dental examination was completed, and again the atheletes on average had more decay issues. Both groups ate a similar diet of sports drink and other sugary substances, but the atheletes appeared more likely to suffer from caries.

The atheletes were then subjected to a series of running exercises, each more challenging than the last. Between each set, a sample of saliva was retrieved. As the exercise increased, the salivary flow of the atheletes decreased and thier mouths became drier, no mater how much fluids they consumed. But more importantly, the chemical composition of the saliva changed, resulting in less protection to the teeth that saliva normally provides.

While this study was small, some consideration should be given by those who exercise regularly, especially when training for endurance events like marathons and century rides. To be safe, good oral hygiene and regular dental visits are a must for the modern athelete.

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