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Diabetes

Diabetes Blood Test

The first clue to diabetes may be in your mouth!

In many cases, it’s the dentist–and not the physician–who has the first opportunity in the early detection of diabetes, because diabetics are especially prone to dental problems.

Swollen, tender, bleeding and receding gums, loose teeth, and a sore tongue may not just be signs of poor dental health. They may be danger signals for diabetes, too. If you have any of these symptoms, you may be one of the millions of Americans who have diabetes.

Diabetes occurs when a gland called the pancreas fails to produce sufficient amounts of the hormone, insulin, to regulate blood sugar levels. In other words: Diabetics have too little insulin and too much sugar in their blood. When this happens, the body tissue can’t convert the sugar it needs into energy. The bloodstream then fills with this unused sugar and the result is diabetes.

A serious illness that respects neither age, sex, race nor income level, diabetes is the leading cause of blindness in people 20 to 65 years old and can lead to kidney failure, heart attacks, and even death. But outside the dental community, few people realize that diabetics have more than their share of tooth and periodontal (gum) problems. This fact is especially true for undiagnosed diabetics or those who have failed to control their disease adequately with insulin and/or diet and exercise.

Periodontal disease among diabetics progresses rapidly, recurs frequently, and heals slowly. The resistance to treatment can lead to loosened teeth and premature tooth loss.

Your regular dental cleanings at our office provide the best chance for early detection of many health problems, including diabetes. If you have a diabetic tendency, we may refer you to your physician for further testing–another good reason to keep your prescribed dental recall appointments faithfully!

If you are diabetic, it’s important that you keep your dental health history up-to-date, exercise regularly, and eat a diet that provides good nutrition:

  • Have regular meals and snack times.
  • Don’t skip meals.
  • Avoid sweets (cake, candy, pie, ice cream).
  • Limit the use of animal fats and trim the fat off meats. Avoid butter, cream, egg yolks.
  • Bake and broil rather than fry foods.
  • Don’t use alcohol, wine, or beer without your doctor’s permission.
  • See your dentist regularly so small dental problems can be taken care of with a local anesthetic. (Teeth don’t heal themselves, so small problems turn into big ones if left untreated. Major oral surgery requires a general anesthetic which means “no food prior to surgery”—a problem for diabetics.)

About Alan Limbird, DDS

Dr. Alan Limbird graduated from the University of California, San Francisco in 1983, in the top 10% of his class. He immediately entered into a residency at Loma Linda University in General Dental Practice. After completing his residency in 1984, he joined a dental practice in Ukiah which he owned and operated for 30 years. At Limbird Dentistry, Dr. Limbird offered his patients the highest quality treatment using state of the art dental technology to create beautiful smiles. Dr. Limbird sold his Ukiah practice in November 2014 and continues to work part-time with the new owners. In April 2017, Dr. Limbird joined Dr. James Hooper’s thriving dental practice in Fort Bragg. Dr. Limbird is excited to be offering dental services to his new patients on the coast. With the new Solea Dental Laser, he can offer an even higher level of care and technology than ever before. Dr. Limbird strives to stay on the cutting edge of dental technology. While working part-time for two years, he filled his free time by attending many dental education courses to fine tune his skills and learn new ones. Recent courses include: Oral Surgery, extractions, bone grafting, implant placement, implant restoration and extensive training with Dental Lasers. These skills will be put to good use in his Fort Bragg office since there are no dental specialists in the area. Dr. Limbird has been using Dental Lasers for over 20 years. Lasers have helped him to provide a higher level of service and excellence to his patients than was previously possible. His most recent technology purchase is the new Solea Carbon Dioxide Dental Laser. With this new laser, Dr. Limbird can prepare and place nearly all of your fillings comfortably and efficiently with NO SHOTS and NO PAIN! No longer do our patients need to fear going to the dentist. Dr. Limbird also has extensive training in Cosmetic Dentistry. He works with only the best dental laboratories and uses the highest quality materials to give you the best smile possible! Dr. Limbird and his wife, Laura, have always loved spending time on the Mendocino Coast. They now live in Mendocino full time and are pleased to be a part of the coastal community.

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