At Peter L. Thompson DDS, we are always looking for new ways to make your life healthier and happier and new studies now prove that dentists can join primary care physicians in fight against diabetes. Dr. Thompson and his staff want to do everything possible to help patients live a long and happy life.
You might think that there is no way you could have diabetes, and that this post doesn’t relate to you at all. But did you know that the American Diabetes Association estimates more than 7 million people in our country are living with undiagnosed diabetes?
Could I have diabetes?
Often people with Type 2 diabetes have no symptoms, which is why so many people go undiagnosed. The most common symptoms are:
Although it is certainly a debilitating disease, the good news about diabetes is that the earlier you are diagnosed, the better the chances of keeping your health under control. Catching the symptoms early will allow you to become educated on how best to care for yourself and maintain as much normalcy in your life as possible.
Dr. Thompson and many other dentists in the Portales, NM area are embracing relationships with primary care physicians in an effort to provide the best care possible for their patients. This comprehensive care reaches across conditions such as sleep apnea, migraine headaches, heart disease and now includes diabetes.
The first sign of diabetes that Dr. Thompson will look for in your mouth is gum disease. Studies have also now shown that comparing the number of missing teeth to the degree of periodontal disease is a very reliable indicator of whether or not you may have diabetes or pre-diabetes.
If we think you may have diabetes, we will recommend that you follow up with your primary care physician to confirm the diagnosis and come up with a plan of action for you.
Diabetes and Gum Disease
One of the most common oral symptoms of diabetes is periodontal (gum) disease, which leads many diabetics to lose their teeth in alarming rates. Diabetes decreases your ability to fight off infection, and increases the time it takes to recover once infected, causing gum disease to occur in diabetics in much higher rates than the average population.
While many people who have gum disease are not diabetics, a large percentage of diabetics have gum disease. Regardless of whether or not you are diagnosed with diabetes, it is important to control your gum disease for the sake of your overall health.
The Next Step
If you already know that you have diabetes, it is very important to tell your hygienist at your next appointment. Along with gum disease, diabetics are also more at risk for tooth decay, salivary gland dysfunction, fungal infections, and taste impairment.
Diabetes is just one more reason to keep your regular check-ups. If Dr. Thompson and the hygienists see you in frequent intervals, they will be able to track any changes in your mouth, including those that indicate diabetes.
Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions about diabetes or gum disease. And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook for all of the latest dental information for you and your family!
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“What a feeling – being able to smile any time I want without shielding my two front teeth with my hand anymore! I must admit, I didn’t know much about veneers until a friend of mine mentioned them to me. He piqued my curiosity, but it was only after I spoke to Dr. Thompson and his staff that I decided to go ahead with the procedure.
I have had horrible experiences with several previous dentists and the thought of extensive work in my mouth was not appealing to me. Especially because I have a very low tolerance for pain. I can honestly say that Dr. Thompson and his staff are one-of-a-kind, and truly the best out there! Not only are the very efficient and use state of the art procedures and materials, but they are compassionate and caring. I had never thought that a healthy smile would give me such a confidence boost, but it sure did! It used to be that people always told me that my eyes smiled when I spoke to them… Now I smile with much more than my eyes!”
“I first came to Dr. Thompson’s office in January of 2010. I had been having headaches due to muscular tension in my jaw. I suffer from a relatively rare genetic disorder called Amelogenesis imperfecta. This disorder affects the enamel formation in teeth, and I basically had no enamel on my teeth as a child and adult. Due to this I had to have all my teeth removed and replaced with dentures when I was only 25.
Dentures also present some problems: because I no longer had tooth roots in my jaw, my bone slowly began to deteriorate and atrophy, both in my upper and lower jaws. Eventually, by the age of 43, I developed severe migraine headaches due to how much my jaw had changed shape over time.
This is where Dr. Thompson came in. He diagnosed the problem quickly and told me that if I didn’t get implants soon my jaws would atrophy to the point where they could no longer support dentures or implants. Before getting implants, he was able to modify my dentures so my headaches went away within a matter of a day or so. What a relief!
Now, implants are expensive, but not as expensive as I thought they would be, and it is certainly better than the alternative of not having any teeth at all, dentures or otherwise. The implants had to be installed (for lack of a better term) over the course of 3 surgeries. The surgeries were completed in the mornings and I was sent home the same day.
Recovery was roughly 3-6 months between surgeries. It was over a year from the time I first visited Dr. Thompson until I got my final implants, but the final result has been great! My new implants are much more stable than my old dentures and I can now eat things that I never could before. I don’t have to fuss with using adhesive to secure my dentures anymore, and my headaches are a thing of the past! Plus my jaws have stopped shrinking due to the implants.
Dr. Thompson and his staff were very friendly and professional during the entire process. I have been to many dentists in the past, but Dr. Thompson is easily the best.”
“When I found Doctor Thompson, you could honestly say I was at my end. All hope of ever having a normal pain-free life was entirely out of reach and there was no way anyone could possibly help me. I had been repeatedly let down by doctors, specialists, and dentists I had been to. I was convinced these people were only there to hurt you and take your money, not actually sit down with you and help you!”
My teeth were beautiful when something really bad began to happen. My teeth began breaking and wearing away. I brushed and did everything I had always been taught to protect your teeth, but nothing seemed to be helping. I saw a billboard with Dr. Thompson. I cried to my husband every time I passed it…. I only wished that I could find someone who could be what he claimed to be. I passed that billboard many times and highly doubted the possibility that he could help me. The last dentist I had gone to hurt me so bad that I was not about to trust anyone else to touch me. So I lived with it.
The day came when decided I had to trust someone. I had just gone through two pregnancies that took all the nutrients I had, therefore speeding up the deterioration of my teeth. I lived in a dark blur of pain, looked at the ground when I spoke to people, and sipped on liquid Tylenol like it was water. ALL I wanted was to be able to be the best Mommy I could be. I was able to care for them and give them everything they needed, but I couldn’t do a lot of things. It was just too painful. I wanted more for my babies! I wanted them to see their Mommy feeling wonderful and able to look her best. I wanted to show them I could interact with other people and not be afraid.
That was all a dream until I finally broke down and decided that I would never know if Dr. Thompson could help me if I didn’t ask. So, one day in 2010, I made the call. The call that would change my perspective on people and their ability to help others. That day I met Micah, and what an angel she was for me! They knew I was terrified and they did their very best to comfort me. No one can truly understand what you are going through until they have lived it, but they tried harder than anyone I had ever seen. My report was as I knew it would be, they would not be able to save my teeth. I would have to have them all removed.
At 28 years old, it’s not exactly the highlight of your life, but when you have been in so much pain and a dentist looks at you, almost with tears in his eyes and tells you that he is going to help you, it will bring life back to your view on your situation. I realized at that moment that these people were my friends and they were going to be there all the way.
One short visit and I walked away with a new mouth. At first, it was totally foreign to me to have a complete set of teeth in my mouth. It was painful, and was not easy having to relearn a lot of things all over again. With their support and confidence, they helped me believe I could do everything right again. I am writing this a year later and I could not be happier with MY smile. I have my complete set of dentures with two implants on bottom that allow the bottom denture to snap in without any troubles at all. It was a very hard road, but one that I have no regrets taking. I have my new beautiful teeth…. I can smile, talk, sing, laugh, and eat. Most importantly I feel amazing. I can be the wife that my husband deserves and the Mommy that my two little girls need me to be, energetic and fun!
There is no greater feeling in the world than knowing I will never hurt like that ever again. Everything was worth it for me. I don’t mind sharing to the world that Dr. Thompson and his team were the most dedicated and outstanding people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. They took care of me, and I will forever be grateful that I called them.”
Please call us at (575) 268-0007 or fill out the form below to request an appointment.