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Archive for March, 2012

Hypothetically, Zombies and their health

If your local zombies were to get an oral exam, what health problems do you think would be manifesting?

From Dr. Mendieta’s limited knowledge of zombies, it seems to us at Global Smiles like they are subject to poor wound healing, loss of limbs, loss of teeth and bleeding gums!

A night out with Zombies

Its hard to diagnose these friendly zombies

All kidding aside, those can be serious manifestations of diabetes and periodontal disease. Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder characterized by hyperglycemia due to defective secretion or activity of insulin.  The complications of diabetes are related to long-term elevation of blood glucose concentrations (hyperglycemia).  Hyperglycemia results in the formation of advanced glycation end products (AGEs).

The classic presentation of periodontal disease is associated with accumulation of plaque and calculus that harbors bacteria and potent virulence factors, which lead to destruction of periodontal tissues and resorption of bone around the teeth.

Chronic Periodontal disease

Perio disease can be worsened with Diabetes

Diabetes and periodontal disease must be controlled because there is some speculation that AGE-enriched gingival tissue has greater vascular permeability, experiences greater breakdown of collagen fibres and shows accelerated destruction of both connective tissue and bone.  What these (macro)vascular complications mean is that individuals with diabetes can suffer from coronary artery disease, cerebrovascular disease and peripheral vascular disease.  Microvascular complications include retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy.  Retinopathy may lead to blindness, whereas progressive renal disease can lead to kidney failure.  Peripheral neuropathy may lead to loss of limbs.

In terms of oral manifestations, the patient may experience delayed wound healing, candida infection, xerostomia (which lead to dental caries) as well as an increased susceptibility to bleeding gums, and periodontal disease i.e. loss of gum attachment and missing teeth. In fact, one study has shown that diabetic patients are 5 times more likely to be missing teeth.

Control of periodontal infection in diabetic patients reduces the level of AGEs in the serum.  Here is what you can do:

  1. Brush and floss regularly
  2. If you have or suspect you have diabetes or periodontitis find a dentist and a physician for preventive care.
  3. If you have diabetes let your doctor know if you have noticed any signs of infection, bad breath, loose teeth, bleeding gums, mouth ulcers, pain, or a bad taste in your mouth.
  4. Make sure you see your dentist for periodic dental and periodontal examinations (every 6 months or more frequently) as recommended by the American Dental Association.
Global Smiles Orthodontics would like to thank Debora C. Matthews, DDS, Dip Perio, MSc head, division of periodontics, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia and the University of NC and Univ. of Michigan (Southerland, Taylor and Offenbacher) for their research.


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Last Friday Night…

Last Friday Night, Katy Perry wore her high pull headgear!!  We loved it!

Katy Perry's Headgear

We love that she wore it last friday night!

Did you know there are other types?  Here is what they do:

Headgear is an appliance patients wear to correct the patient’s bite.  It can be used to hold teeth in their place (anchorage), move molars, change a patient’s bite, and aid orthopedic changes.

There are different types of head gear an orthodontist may prescribe (e.g. protraction, cervical, and high pull).

Protraction, cervical, & high pull headgear

Head gear is generally worn for 14-16 hours per day or as much as the patient can tolerate.  We generally do not make the patient wear it to school but the patient should wear it at home.

Once the desired movement is obtained the headgear should not be discontinued so that it can hold and prevent any relapse from occurring.  Your orthodontist will give specific instructions on the how long the patient will have to wear it for.

Any appliance will attract plaque so hygiene is super important!  Dr. Mendieta and staff stress brushing 3 times a day and flossing once a day.

Enjoy the vid, we did!

Oral Piercings

The topic of oral piercing has come up in conversation at our orthodontic office in Columbus, Ohio.  Some teenagers have decided to take the plunge and the parents are usually looking for contraindication to it.

Chipped tooth from metal piercing

People have a favorite place to put their barbell. Unfortunately it may wear away the tooth structure.

Whether you’re a fan of tongue and lip piercing or not, the American Dental Association has conducted studies that found wearing mouth jewelry even for a limited time can cause permanent gum deformities that could lead ultimately to tooth loss. The ongoing contact between the jewelry and your gums has been found to lead to receding gums, chipped or broken teeth, and worse yet, nerve damage or infection at the site of the piercing.

Tongue infection from oral piercing

Make sure you are aware of the risks involved with oral piercing.

Piercing is one of today’s popular forms of body art and self-expression. Doing it may seem daring, cool and totally safe for whatever reason but piercing the tongue, lips, or cheeks is not as safe as some would have you believe. That’s because the oral cavity is home to numerous nerve bundles and blood vessels.  The mouth’s moist environment hosts huge amounts of breeding bacteria—an ideal place for infection!

An infection can quickly become life threatening if it’s not treated promptly. If a person has a heart condition an oral piercing carries a potential risk of bacterial endocarditis.  This an infection of the inside surface of the heart or valves. Bacteria can enter the bloodstream through the piercing site in the mouth and travel to the heart, where it can colonize on heart abnormalities.  In the worst of cases, results in death.

Don’t pierce on a whim. Piercing carries certain risks and will be an added responsibility to your life, requiring constant attention and upkeep especially if you smoke or take medications. Talk to your dentist or orthodontist for more information.  Let us know how Dr. Mendieta and staff can address your concerns.  Don’t forget to like us on Facebook🙂