October 18's Minutes

Octobers Minutes

October saw us welcome Katrina Edwards – Dental Hygienist.

Katrina has 27 years of experience as a dental nurse, progressing to Senior Dental Nurse and Healthcare assistant to dentist before becoming a dedicated dental hygienist.

Katrina spoke about the link between diabetes and gum disease. In recent years more and more research into the link between diabetes and gum disease and much the same as with other senses there is a direct link with gum disease and as a hygienist Katrina reports that people with diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease. And as such people with diabetes are amongst her most important patients.

Poor diabetes control is very much linked with gum disease as warm wet environments promote bacterial growth which can lead to gum disease.

Healthy gums are pale pink in colour and do not bleed when poked or when brushed.

Bad oral health causes particles of food to be left at the gum line, which induces bacterial and the particles to harden to become plaque which is really difficult to remove without the services of a dental hygienist.

Remembering that people with diabetes take longer to heal than people without diabetes and having your gums bleed is the same. Gum disease at the stage where it bleeds all the time is going to be something, that as a diabetic, is not going to get better.

Gingivitis can be reversable with good brushing and excellent oral hygiene, but periodontitis is the Latin name for gum disease and is not reversable.

The advice for good oral care is to use an electric toothbrush with a round brush that oscillates as well as rotates and to hold the brush on each individual tooth for the count of 4. Both on the outer-side and again on the inner-side of your mouth.

Katrina also said that most toothpastes are the same, they need to have a fluoride base as we do not have fluoride supplements added to our water systems, but the claims of enamel replacement, and whitening effects are not important and, in some cases, not entirely true claims.

Dental floss or interdental brushes are also vitally important in good oral care for everyone but, in particular, people with diabetes.

X-rays are also important in good overall dental health, these can pick up bone reabsorption. Dental hygienists can also check your saliva production, making sure your mouth waters, saliva is the mouths natural cleaning solution.

Be aware that over brushing you’re your teeth and gums can cause receeding gums but these can also be as a result of genetics, smoking and alcohol.

Anyone looking for a dentist can check the local healthboards website who have a chart of all dentists in the area and those taking on NHS patients.

Remember, when you see a dental hygienist, they are looking at all areas of health, checking your head, neck, throat, face and tongue as well as your mouth.

With thanks to Katrina for coming along to the group this month, we look forward to seeing to at Novembers meeting where we will have a talk from Helen Newton, Specialist podiatrist.

Our meeting is the 15th November 7-8.30pm at the church hall of Ss Julius and Aaron, on Heather Road, Newport, NP19 7JT.

I look forward to seeing you there