The first clue to diabetes may be in your mouth! In many cases it's the dentist–and not the physician–who has the first opportunity in the early detection of diabetes, because diabetics are especially prone to dental problems. Swollen, tender, bleeding and receding gums, loose teeth, and a sore tongue may not just be signs of poor dental health. They may be danger signals for diabetes, too. If you have any of these symptoms, you may be one of the millions of Americans who has diabetes. Diabetes occurs when a gland called the pancreas fails to produce sufficient amounts of the hormone, insulin, to regulate blood sugar levels. In other words: Diabetics have too little insulin and too much sugar in [...]
Of course, we do what we can to make your visit with us as comfortable as possible. But there are also ways to help yourself deal with any anxiety you may have while anticipating treatment. Positive self-talk. Tell yourself, "I can handle this well." Make other positive self-statements, especially about tense situations similar to this with which you coped well. Make positive statements about the dental personnel. You're in good hands. Remind yourself that the doctors and staff are highly qualified, well-trained, and "know what they are doing." Deep muscle relaxation. Relax your muscles by starting to focus on your forehead. Then picture relaxation flowing down and through your face and downward through the rest of the body. Breathe from [...]
Especially for Braces Wearers Do you absent-mindedly commit Tooth Abuse? These are habits definitely off limits for the health of your teeth: Don't chomp on a toothpick—it can wear teeth down and get caught in your braces. Stop chewing your nails, pens and pencils—it's hard on teeth and gums. Leave the ice in your drink? Chewing ice can crack teeth and fillings, and pop wires in braces. Don't consume something very hot just after something very cold. The rapid expansion and contraction can crack dental enamel. Treat your teeth right!
The bad thing about dental phobia is that it prevents people from seeking the care they need—when they need it. The good thing about it is that, today, we can treat fear as successfully as we treat tooth decay or crooked teeth. Over six million people experience some degree of anxiety when they visit the dentist. Two million dental patients are just plain scared, so scared that they suffer shaking, confusion, heart palpitations and changes in speech and blood pressure just thinking about dental treatment. Thanks to many dedicated researchers, we've learned a lot about what causes fear. And we've got the antidotes. Do you have a Dental Phobia? If you, or someone you care about, needs help in coping [...]