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Scuba Divers Have Special Dental Risks

Scuba divers should consult their dentists periodically to prevent a condition known as "diver's mouth syndrome," says Dr. Ryne Johnson, regarded as Boston’s best prosthodontist and managing partner of Newton Wellesley Dental Partners. Diver's mouth syndrome, known technically as barodontalgia, can include gum problems, pain in the jaw joint, or a condition known as "tooth squeeze," in which changing pressure causes pain in the center of a tooth. "Many divers drag the bulky air regulator through the water with their teeth, and this can cause stress or damage to the oral cavity. Divers may bite too hard on the mouthpiece which can lead to pain in the jaw joint and gum lacerations. Complicating this problem is the fact that most standard mouthpieces are too small for most people and only support the very back teeth. Divers really have to work to keep their lips pursed around these small pieces of rubber." But the problem, he says, is easily remedied. "If a diver feels pain or soreness in the jaw, he or she should consult with a dentist," says Dr. Johnson. "A custom-fitted mouthpiece is available in most scuba shops that will support all of the teeth, so these problems can be avoided." Tooth squeeze can occur when a cavity, a deteriorated or broken dental filling, a dental abscess or an incomplete root canal has developed an air space and reacts to the changing pressure once the diver is under water. It can occur both in descent and ascent as can other squeeze problems. "It can be very painful, but the irony is that many divers do not feel it because of the exhilarating experience they feel at being in the water. When divers do feel tooth squeeze, they should schedule a dentist visit to get the appropriate dental care." Dr. Johnson recommends that divers be in good dental health before diving. Be wary of scuba diving if you have recently undergone dental treatments in which there was a tooth extraction or if a tooth contains a temporary filling. "The change in pressure can cause severe pain and cause healing to take much longer," says Dr. Johnson. “Be cautious if you have dentures. "Be sure they are well-fitted; have them relined or remade if necessary.” Go to a dentist where you can be evaluated for joint pain or earaches. "Custom-made mouthpieces are readily available. Yes, they cost more, but you will be amazed at the difference," says Dr. Johnson. "It's worth the cost because the dive will be much more comfortable." It's never too late to improve your dental health. Visit www.NewtonWellesleyDentalPartners.com for more blogs or to contact Dr. Johnson  

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Diabetes…Its Impact on Dental Health – Newton, Wellesley, MA

Dr. Ryne Johnson, prosthodontist and managing partner at Newton Wellesley Dental Partners wants you to know that, “if you have diabetes, you know the disease can harm your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know it can also cause problems in your mouth? People with diabetes have a higher than normal risk of periodontal diseases”. Project1

Periodontal diseases are infections of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. In advanced stages, they lead to painful chewing problems and even tooth loss. Like any infection, gum disease can make it hard to keep your blood sugar under control.

What Is the Link Between Diabetes and Periodontal Disease?

Diabetic Control. Like other complications of diabetes, gum disease is linked to diabetic control. People with poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely, and they lose more teeth than do persons with good control. In fact, people whose diabetes is well controlled have no more periodontal disease than persons without diabetes. Children with IDDM (insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus) are also at risk for gum problems. Good diabetic control is the best protection against periodontal disease.

Studies show that controlling blood sugar levels lowers the risk of some complications of diabetes, such as eye and heart disease and nerve damage. Scientists believe many complications, including gum disease, can be prevented with good diabetic control.

Blood Vessel Changes. Thickening of blood vessels is a complication of diabetes that may increase risk for gum disease. Blood vessels deliver oxygen and nourishment to body tissues, including the mouth, and carry away the tissues' waste products. Diabetes causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients and the removal of harmful wastes. This can weaken the resistance of gum and bone tissue to infection.

Bacteria. Many kinds of bacteria (germs) thrive on sugars, including glucose -- the sugar linked to diabetes. When diabetes is poorly controlled, high glucose levels in mouth fluids may help germs grow and set the stage for gum disease.

Smoking. The harmful effects of smoking, particularly heart disease and cancer, are well known. Studies show that smoking also increases the chances of developing gum disease. In fact, smokers are five times more likely than nonsmokers to have gum disease. For smokers with diabetes, the risk is even greater. If you are a smoker with diabetes, age 45 or older, you are 20 times more likely than a person without these risk factors to get severe gum disease.

For additional blogs by Dr. Johnson, click here To contact the office, click here

Original article at http://www.webmd.com/diabetes/periodontal-disease Original artwork: www.deltadentalco.com

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