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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC January 2014 Newsletter
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Diabetes and Gum Disease: Learn the Signs
If you have diabetes, you should be very aware of your risk of contracting gum disease. These two diseases often go hand-in-hand and can cause serious complications if they are not handled right away. Even if you do not have diabetes, it is important to be able to recognize the signs, as gum disease can also be a precursor for diabetes.

The Signs

Often times, gum disease is painless, which makes it even harder to get diagnosed early on as most people only go to the dentist when something hurts. Unfortunately, the silent signs of gum disease should not be ignored, as it is a disease that needs to be treated right away to ensure your ability to keep your teeth and avoid a lifetime of serious problems. The most common signs to watch for include:

•  Red or swollen gums
•  Bleeding while brushing or flossing
•  Chronic bad breath
•  Teeth pulling away from the gums
•  Teeth that seemed to have moved or become loose
•  A change in your bite or the way that your teeth fit together

Why Diabetics Need to Worry

As a diabetic, your blood sugar levels need to be stable in order to keep you healthy. They also need to be in control to keep your risk of gum disease minimized. In reverse, keeping your gum disease under control also helps to keep your blood sugar levels easier to maintain, which helps to keep the side effects of diabetes at a minimum. It is a mutual need for your body and your teeth to keep your blood sugar levels under control, which includes the need to see your dentist in order to minimize your risk of suffering from gum disease. The dentist will evaluate your teeth and gums to indicate whether you have periodontal (gum disease), and will recommend the necessary treatment for you.
Good Oral Health is Important as you Age
As we experience medical breakthroughs in today's society, we have potential to live longer, healthier lives. While this is great news, it also comes with many necessary precautions including proper care and preventative measures for good oral health; not only is tooth decay an issue, but so is periodontal disease. Proper oral hygiene practices can help aging seniors keep their natural teeth, have healthy gums, and avoid the hassle of dentures or implants. Keeping your regular hygiene appointments every four to six months (as advised by our office), as well as brushing after every meal and flossing daily can help to keep your oral health up to par. If you take medications, make sure to tell Dr. Layer. He will know if they will have an impact on your oral health in the long term. With good oral hygiene and the guidance of our dental team you should keep your teeth and gums healthy for your lifetime!

Cut Down on Sweets for your New Year's Resolution
As we enter the New Year and make resolutions, consider including the goal to cut down on consuming sweets. Sugar is cariogenic, which means it promotes tooth decay. Consuming too much sugar can cause tooth decay as the sugar mixes with the bacteria and saliva, causing more acids to be released in your mouth that eat away at your enamel and dentin. As you pay closer attention to what you eat, do not forget that simple carbohydrates, such as cookies and even crackers also contain sugar and can cause harm to your teeth. If you do consume sugar, try to brush your teeth immediately afterwards to reduce the risk of decay. Better alternatives to sweets are fruits, yogurt, dark chocolate, and products containing the sugar substitute xylitol.
Dr. Layer and his highly trained team would love to hear from you and answer your questions. Simply click the "submit question" link below this message. Referrals are appreciated.

Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC | www.layerdental.com | 541-734-0970
1485 East McAndrews Rd., Medford, OR 97504



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