(continued) The second test that helps us determine your systemic health risk is Average Blood Surgar(HbA1c). On those occasions when blood glucose is high, the hemoglobin in the blood may be marked or "glycated." The percentage of the hemoglobin that is glycated is an indication of your level of glucose control over the last two months. A value of less than 5% is normal, a value over 7% is considered diabetic, and 6%-7% is considered prediabetic. Since periodontal bacteria in the bloodstream can increase blood sugar and HbA1c levels, treating the periodontal disease will reduce HbA1c scores and lower your diabetes risk.
The results of these tests will be reviewed with you at your next appointment. At that time we will create a plan for your health. The good news is you can choose to replace the vicious cycle with the health cycle.
Knowing you have periodontal disease is the first step. The next step toward health is to determine if the disease is impacting your systemic health. There are two simple "finger stick" tests done at the Dental Wellness Center which will help you determine your systemic health risk. The tests are: High Sensitivity C-Reactive Protein (CRP). C-Reactive Protein is a protein produced in the liver that circulates in the blood. CRP levels increase when the body is fighting off an infection or when inflammation is present. Blockages in blood vessels called plaque are collections of products contained in cells, including CRP. Elevated levels of CRP may predict risk of heart attack up tp eight years in advance, can also increase the risk of a heart attack by seven fold, and are also an indication of cancerous activity. While most people over the age of 40 have annual cholesterol testing, CRP testing is new. Since 50% of people who have heart attackes or stroke have normal cholesterol levels, adding CRP testing can increase the predictability of heart attack or stroke. If you have High CRP because of inflammation, removing the inflammation can lower the CRP and may reduce the risk of future coronary events.

Got Breath?
Bad breath (a.k.a. oral malodor/fetor oris/halitosis) is a very common but insidious human predicament, in that it is rarely experienced by the offender. Since it is so personal, the one having it may never get a clue from those affected by it.

Studies indicate that this condition arises directly from either exhaled digestive gases, various conditions within the mouth, or a combination of both. Dental plaque bacteria that reside between the teeth and gums, tongue, and cheeks can absorb certain foods that have a high content of volatile sulfur compounds (VSC's). This alone can be offensive, especially the morning after a meal high in VSC's. Aside from the foods that have a high content of VSC's, the plaque by itself that causes gum disease (periodontal disease or pyorrhea), is definitely the most common cause of bad breath. Add to this, high VSC foods such as garlic, etc., and you have a walking halitosis factory - an offender usually not "in the know".