3 Ways the Dentist Can Help You with Your Diabetes

3 Ways the Dentist Can Help You with Your Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is at an all-time high in the United States. In fact, the deadly disease is on the rise across the globe. We find that more and more patients are concerned that they will be diagnosed with diabetes or pre-diabetes and its long-term effects, and we don’t blame them.

Thankfully, there are many steps a patient can take to protect themselves from the disease, and we can help. Anyone who is at risk for diabetes or who has already been diagnosed should have a number of people on their Diabetes Wellness Team, including their dentist.

Today, we will discuss how regular visits to the dentist can help diabetic patients in three ways, including prevention and diagnosis.

1. Dentists are in the front line of prevention and diagnosis

The first line of defense against a progressive disease like diabetes is prevention. The second line of defense is an early diagnosis.

This is exactly where we come into play.  At Meyer Dental Group, we’ve been able to help our patients get an early diagnosis so that they can start getting the treatment they need. An oral exam is also helpful because we can recommend oral and general health tips that will help slow or reverse the progression of the disease.

So, how can Type 2 diabetes be detected at a dental office? First, it is important to know that this disease affects more than the body’s insulin levels. Higher blood sugar levels can wreak havoc on the entire body, including the mouth.

According to EveryDayHealth.com
, high blood sugar levels can cause nerve damage, kidney disease, heart disease, and blindness, just to name a few.

How does this disease affect a patient’s oral health?

Type 2 diabetes can cause:

  • Gum disease—starting with gingivitis (stage I periodontal disease) and if left untreated can progressing to more serious and damaging stages of the periodontal  disease.
  • Thrush (a white rash caused by a fungal infection in the mouth).
  • Dry mouth.
  • Tooth decay.

During an examination, we check the patient’s teeth for decay, their gums for periodontal disease, and we also do a soft tissue examination. A soft tissue exam is when we check the inside of the cheeks, the roof of the mouth, back of the throat, the tongue and the floor of the mouth.

If we notice anything that isn’t within normal limits, we will look for a common thread. For instance, if a patient has dry mouth and decay, the likely issue is medications they’re taking or an underlying medical problem.

We will keep searching until we come up with a diagnosis. In many cases, we will refer a patient to their medical doctor to evaluate for diseases like oral cancer, heart disease, and yes—Type 2 diabetes. We have found that there are a lot of instances in which the dentist is the first line of defense when it comes to the diagnosis and treatment of a non-oral disease.


2. Providing Oral Health Tips for Patients Dealing with Type 2 Diabetes

After a diagnosis, the second way Dr. Tom Meyer can help his patients is by providing oral health tips. These tips will not only help to prevent oral diseases, like periodontal disease (gum disease), they will help to prevent disease throughout the body.

Here are a few of our recommendations for our patients who want to protect their mouths from the effects of Type 2 diabetes.

  • Do your best to control your blood sugar levels every day.
  • Brush at least twice a day for a minimum of two minutes.
  • Floss at least once every day.
  • Avoid high-sugar foods, to prevent both blood sugar spikes and tooth decay.
  • Visit your dentist at every six months, unless recommended by Dr. Tom Meyer to visit more frequently.  Keeping regular maintenance visits is crucial.
  • Avoid or quit smoking.
  • Alert Dr. Tom Meyer to any oral changes like dry mouth, sores, and pain.

3. Providing Oral Health Education for Patients Dealing with Type 2 Diabetes

The third way our Des Plaines dental office team helps our patients with disease prevention is through education. We are here to answer all their oral health questions.

If you have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes or periodontal disease, you should know how to prevent the progression and reverse damage.

Here are five questions you should ask your Des Plaines IL dentist if you have diabetes:

  1. Do you have any dietary recommendations to help prevent tooth, gum, and general body diseases?
  2. What should my hygiene and exam maintenance schedule be, and will this change if I’m ever diagnosed with certain oral or other diseases?
  3. Have you found anything during your exam that I should report back to my primary care physician?
  4. Will my oral hygiene routine need to change once I’m diagnosed with a disease?
  5. Will my high blood sugar levels make it more difficult to heal from certain dental procedures, like a periodontal scaling or extraction?


Your Diabetes Wellness Team: Make Sure to Include Your Des Plaines Dentist, Dr. Meyer

According to the World Health Organization Type 2 diabetes is expected to become the seventh leading cause of death within the next decade. We don’t want our patients to be a part of those statistics and will continue doing all we can to educate them.

When our patients come into our dental office in Des Plaines they will receive tips on how to prevent gum disease and diabetes. If they already have diseases, we’ll do all we can to help our patients prevent the disease from progressing.

But we can’t do it all. Disease management and prevention is a team effort. We will do our part, but our patients need to follow through, too. It is our belief that with teamwork and dedication, we can help save our community from the devastating effects of periodontal disease and diabetes.

Would you like more information about how to prevent disease? We welcome you to schedule a consultation. Together, we can keep you and your family on the path of wellness.

Here are 5 questions to ask your des plaines dentist if you have diabetes.

We Believe Custom-Made Mouth Guards Offer More Benefits Than Store-Bought

We Believe Custom-Made Mouth Guards Offer More Benefits Than Store-Bought

Mouth guards, whether custom mouth guards or store-bought, it is a necessary thing.Whether you play a contact sport, are engaged in recreational activities, or your children have recently taken up skateboarding, you will need one.

Sure, you can quickly scoop one up at your local sporting goods store, and it could be adequate. However, broken or lost teeth are not something anyone wants to deal with; whether it is for themselves or their children. Worse, a jaw bone fracture or dislocation could leave permanent damage.

So, we ask you this: Would you want to put all of that pressure on a generic one-size-fits-all store-bought version? Furthermore, how much have you looked into custom mouth guards?

There is no need to worry. Your teeth (or your child’s teeth) are not in eminent danger. They can continue to use their store-bought version. In the meantime, we recommend you see a dentist in Des Plaines and Mount Prospect, IL, like Dr Tom Meyer here at Meyer Dental Group, to explore your options for a custom-made guard.

How Custom Mouth Guards Work

Custom mouth guards are designed to protect teeth, but your teeth exclusively — not someone else’s.

Custom-fitted guards are designed and made inside our dental office in Des Plaines, IL. According to WebMD, they are more expensive but worth every penny. The cost is slightly higher because your dentist must first take an impression of the teeth. This impression is then used to create a custom molded model. From there, a special material is used to craft the custom mouth guard.

The result, a mouthguard that fits every unique characteristic of your teeth — right down to shape, size, and placement.

Benefits To Using  Custom Mouth Guards

Not only are you receiving protection for your mouth but custom-made options carry a few key advantages, including:

1. Airway Exchange: If you’ve ever worn a mouthguard, you know that they can be uncomfortable. With a custom-made version, you will have better airway exchange and more comfort. Furthermore, they are less bulky than store-bought versions.

2. Better Performance: Yes, you pay a little more, but you get what you pay for here. Custom options decrease the probability of a traumatic injury to the mouth causing any damage (e.g. chipped teeth, broken teeth, abrasions, etc.).

See How Quickly Your Dentist In Des Plaines, Mount Prospect, and Arlington Heights Can Make A Custom Mouth Guard

Think it will take endless appointments?

Wrong. The first visit will take anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes and your second visit is completed typically in the same week for an additional 10 to 20 minutes out of your day.

If you are looking for a high-performance model, these are achieved using neuromuscular computerized technology — a fancy way of stating your jaw coordinates are precisely measured for oxygen exchange and stability. These take two hours in the office and about two weeks to finalize.

Now you can protect your teeth and keep doing the sports and activities you love.

Schedule your consultation for a custom mouth guard by visiting the dental team here at Meyer Dental Group. Call now at 847-827-6290.


Are you ready for a different dental experience?

Make an Appointment

Halloween Candy Buy Back is Back!

Halloween Candy Buy Back is Back!

Meyer Dental Group will be working with Packages4Patriots once again to collect uneaten, unopened Halloween candy for our US troops!

Did you know that global sugar consumption for kids increases by about 2% annually and currently sits at 50 million tons per year? This means parents need to be sure their kids teeth are being cared for more than ever.  Candy, as well as hurting children’s teeth, can lead to hyperactivity and weight gain.  In some cases, the wrong types of candy can also lead to broken teeth and damaged braces.

We will be collecting candy the week of Halloween during regular business hours.  Children are welcome to come by any time to drop off candy in exchange for $1 per pound and a goody bag including a toothbrush and toothpaste! Any candy donations from adults who would like to find a good home for their unused candy this Halloween will gratefully be accepted as well.

All collected candy will be given to Packages4Patriots who puts together care packages around the holidays and throughout the year to send to the men and woman overseas bringing smiles to those who have set out to protect our country!

This program has been very successful in the past year and we hope that 2016 is the best yet!

We hope you can participate in this year’s Meyer Dental Group Halloween Candy Buy Back!

Get Checked: Your Swollen Gums Might Be A Sign Of Oral Cancer

Get Checked: Your Swollen Gums Might Be A Sign Of Oral Cancer

Gum tissue abnormalities, like swollen gums, can be a sign of many different issues. You could be experiencing irritation from a piece of popcorn that’s stuck in your gum pocket. Or, you could be in the early stages of periodontal, or gum disease.

Something that a lot of people don’t know is that abnormalities, like swelling, could be a sign of a much more serious condition: oral cancer.

We Believe That…Patients with Swollen Gums Should Be Evaluated For Oral Cancer

When most people think of oral cancer, they think of those posters that would be put up in school libraries in an effort to keep kids from trying tobacco products. Unfortunately, many people believed that only smokers or tobacco chewers ended up with oral cancer. They thought that as long as they stayed away from tobacco they would be ok. Shockingly, 25% of oral cancer patients are non tobacco users.

Another issue facing patients is that they don’t know the early warning signs of oral cancer. Therefore, a symptom like gum swelling might go unnoticed, when in fact, it could be a precursor to cancer.

10 Common Oral Cancer Symptoms to Watch Out For

Oral cancer can be difficult to diagnose in the early stages because it can mimic other dental issues. If you notice any of the following symptoms, consult your dentist right away. Even if it’s not oral cancer—and hopefully it isn’t—your Des Plaines IL dentist, Dr. Tom Meyer can help you find relief.

Here are 10 common oral cancer indicators:

1. Toothache
2. A Persistent Sore
3. Thickening Soft Tissue (Cheeks)
4. Loose Teeth
5. Chronic Bad Breath
6. A Lump in the Throat or Neck
7. Jaw Pain
8. Swollen Gums
9. Weight Loss
10. Changes in Your Voice
According to the Cancer Treatment Centers of America, if you experience any of these symptoms for several days you should contact your dentist. The best case scenario is catching the cancer and treating it early.

Taking Charge of Your Dental Health

At Meyer Dental Group, we are your partners in health. It is our desire to help you achieve optimal dental health. In order to accomplish that, we need your help. If you notice gum tissue abnormalities, let us know right away. This is what we will check for:

  • Oral Cancer
  •  Ill-Fitting Restorations (fillings, crowns or bridges)
  • Periodontal Disease
  • Nutritional Deficiencies
  • Decay
  • Herpes
  • Pregnancy
  • Leukemia

It’s best to have your gums evaluated as soon as you notice the swelling so that your dentist can give you an oral cancer screening. If you would like to know more about our screening process, please watch the video below on oral cancer screening where you will be introduced to the ViziLite Plus screening tool. Below is a video of Dr. Tom Meyer conducting an oral cancer exam with ViziLite Plus.

Don’t Hesitate to See Your Mount Prospect IL Dentist

Swollen gums could be a sign of a variety of issues. Even if the issue isn’t oral cancer, it could be another serious condition like gum disease. Either way, if you notice gum tissue swelling, recognize this as a sign from your body that you need to have your Des Plaines IL dentist evaluate the situation.
When was the last time you had an oral cancer screening? Our goal is to be proactive; we want to catch decay, gum disease, and especially oral cancer as soon as possible. We encourage you to schedule an appointment with us for a full dental examination.

Are you ready for a different dental experience?

Make an Appointment

Health benefits of cosmetic dental treatments in Des Plaines

Health benefits of cosmetic dental treatments in Des Plaines


Cosmetic dentistry is a widely discussed topic these days, and with good reason. It’s difficult not to notice how quickly and drastically it can improve your smile, and having a more beautiful appearance can certainly help to give you a boost of confidence.

Your Des Plaines dentist also wants you to know about some of the important health benefits. Cosmetic dental treatments can help to:

1. Reduce your risk for tooth decay and gum disease

Choosing to straighten crooked teeth with braces can do more than make your teeth look nicer. Tightly squeezed together teeth are often difficult to clean and create ideal nooks and crannies for plaque and bacteria to hide in, even when there is consistent oral hygiene.

2. Prevent a misaligned bite

Life happens and sometimes that means missing teeth. Whether your dentist had to remove one or more teeth, or you experienced some other trauma/injury, any missing teeth should be replaced.

When a gap is left anywhere along your gum line, the neighboring teeth can begin to drift into the open space. This shifting can change the alignment of your bite and cause other problems for your teeth and your overall health. This includes tooth grinding, also known as bruxism, and TMJ, a painful jaw joint disorder. Your dentist has many excellent and natural-looking options to replace missing teeth, including:

  • Crowns
  • Bridges
  • Implants

3. Treat TMJ

TMJ disorders often result from dental issues, such as a bad bite caused by missing or crooked teeth. Over time, this misaligned bite can put pressure on the jaw joints. Without treatment, you may begin to feel pain in the joints or hear a clicking noise when you chew, talk or yawn.

Fortunately, your dentist can treat the individual dental issues that caused your jaw misalignment. Overtime, these procedures work to correct your bite, realign your jaw and allow your jaw muscles to relax and heal. A dental approach helps to reduce or even resolve the pain for many TMJ sufferers. TMJ treatment may include:

  • Orthotics
  • Braces
  • Bridges, crowns and implants

Where can you learn more?

We believe a great smile makes a difference. If you are live in Des Plaines, and want to find a cosmetic dentist that believes in providing premium dental care, contact Dr. Meyer to arrange for a consultation.


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