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Jacob O. Layer DMD, PC September 2012 Newsletter
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Rheumatoid Arthritis Linked to Periodontal Disease
Q: What do these two conditions have in common?
A: Chronic inflammation

"The common denominator here is the inflammatory aspect of both diseases," according to President of the New Jersey Society of Periodontists Dr. Scott Zirkin. Because chronic bacterial infection is associated with periodontal disease, the system experiences an inflammatory response. The ensuing chronic inflammation not only taxes the immune system but it can destroy connective tissue and bone tissue, both teeth and joints.

So here's the good news for rheumatoid arthritis sufferers. A study in the Journal of Periodontology found that people who suffer from both periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis had fewer swollen joints and stiffness when they brought their periodontal disease under control.

"The mouth/body connection is very strong and should not be underestimated by those living with arthritis or their caregivers," says Zirkin. We would like to take that one step further and tell you that the mouth/body connection should not be underestimated by any of our patients because there are many body-related complications associated with periodontal disease, not just rheumatoid arthritis.

Arthritis sufferers may be more likely to develop periodontal disease and resolving periodontal disease can be more difficult for them. That's because arthritis can make it challenging to practice proper oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing. If you have limited manual dexterity and need help fighting or preventing periodontal disease we can help. We have methods, strategies, and tools that can make it easier for you to maintain a proper oral hygiene regime.
An Eye on Diabetes
Did you know that 17 million Americans have diabetes and that one-third of them don't even know it?

Diabetes is a chronic disease marked by high levels of sugar in the blood, causing several problems including some related to vision. But it is possible to have diabetes for quite some time without knowing it. Thus this disease often goes undetected and undiagnosed.

The danger, however, is that diabetes can cause vision impairment and even blindness during that time. That's why it's important to identify the condition early. There are many therapies that allow diabetics to improve their health and decrease the risks of vision loss.

One of the ways diabetes is detected is during a comprehensive eye examination. By looking into your eyes and examining the blood vessels, your eye doctor can see whether you have any vascular issues that relate to diabetes and hypertension.

If you've already been diagnosed with diabetes, getting an annual eye examination is equally important. Understanding and monitoring your condition can help you avoid serious vision issues relating to diabetes.

Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in people aged 20-74. Don't become part of that statistic. If it's been over a year since you've had a comprehensive eye examination, call your eye doctor right away.

Dental Health Information Available Online
The American Dental Association (ADA) has an easy-to-use website for the public called Mouth Healthy (mouthhealthy.org). You can find products that carry the ADA Seal, get food tips and nutrition information for healthy teeth, read the latest dental news, learn how to reduce your risk of cavities and more.

The site also includes a glossary, a handy A-Z list of topics and tabs with dental health information for every stage of life. Check it out!
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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