Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Ut Oh -- Peridontal Disease Causes Pre-Diabetes

I'm so bummed.  I was ticking around on the Internet today looking at what other folks have on their pre-diabetes websites and I found out that periodontal disease is not just sore bleeding gums.  Yikes!  It causes pre-diabetes and diabetes and heart disease.  I put the article up on my blog so you can check it out.  It's the 2008 Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) article about the science.  It's in the tab under Amazing Pre-Diabetes Articles.  So while I am busy exercising and losing 15% of my body weight to cure pre-diabetes going to the dentist takes on increased importance.  We gotta get our gums checked and treated.  There is treatment (every 3 months cleaning and scraping and such) and medicine (mouthwashes) they can give you that will help keep it kinda controlled.  Going to the dentist every 3 months is pretty easy.  The hard part is being really consistent with the stepped up flossing and water jetting I have to do. 

I thought the reason I had to control gum disease was to keep from losing the bone around my teeth.  Of course I don't want to lose any more of it.  I've lost some bone.  I have pretty severe gingivitis for at least 10 years but I've not lost any teeth.  I go to the dentist every 3 months for periods of time and then I let it go for a while --- like a year.  Then I get back with the program for a while.  I have a good dentist now so I'm hoping to keep up the program for ever.

The home cure (in addition to going to the dentist) is to brush twice a day, floss at least once per day, and use a water pick or other brand of machine that shoots a fast jet stream of water between your gums and teeth.  Also you need to get a new toothbrush every 3 months.

I brush twice a day which is good and I do have a water pick and those little "P" shaped plastic things you can use for flossing.  I'm fast with those things -- scraping 5 times the side of each tooth like lightening.  But I'm pretty poor at flossing regularly -- every day.  If I have a dental appointment coming up I start to really take care of my gums.  I floss every day till my teeth squeak and use the water pick after I brush.  I've been known to do this twice a day for about 10 days before my appointment.  Fear is my motivator.  I don't want to find out it's gotten a lot worse.  I've had gum surgery several times.  The other thing that motivates me is that I don't want to be disappointed that my gums are worse.  When you go in the hygienist measures how deep the little pockets are between your teeth and gums and you get the numbers -- 3, 4, 5, 6, 7.  They compare them to the numbers of the last visit.  After the dental appointment within about 3 days I forget to keep doing it.  I just brush, unless I notice my breath is bad or if I have a meeting I'm getting ready for ... then I take up flossing and water jetting till I start forgetting again.

I take Quercetin with Bromelain every morning to keep the inflammation down.  That's an easy step in the right direction.  A dentist I went to in Bethesda prescribed that.  But I'm really pretty hit or miss for the flossing and water picking other wise. 

I wonder how to get motivated to be more consistent about that.  I expect writing this and reading all about periodontal disease and what causes it and how it causes pre-diabetes and heart disease is going to be motivational for about 3 days.

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