Your Child Is More Likely To Have A Cavity Than A Cold

By Chie Li Ee, DMD and Chrissy Boothroyd

Did you know that tooth decay is the second most common disease in the United? The first one is the common cold.  In children, tooth decay is more prevalent than the common cold, affecting 42% of children age 2 to 11. It is five times more common than asthma and seven times more common than allergies.  More than four million toddlers are affected by tooth decay.

The greatest risk factor for childhood cavities is poverty. One in four children have never been to a dentist by the time they start kindergarten.  Uninsured children are almost 3 times less likely to receive dental care. Other common risk factors include the following:

  • Not having a dentist
  • Lack of fluoridated water
  • Having a parent with cavities (you can infect your child with the bacteria that causes cavities)
  • Frequent snacking with sugary snacks
  • Sugary drinks and going to bed with a bottle or constant sippy cup use
  • Not brushing and flossing daily (younger children need to be supervised)

Early childhood cavities can cause pain, loss of teeth, head and neck infections, cavities later in life, impaired growth and weight gain, missed school days, speech problems and a poorer quality of life. Over 51 million hours of school are missed each years due to dental problems.  Most people don’t realize that proper care of baby teeth is just as important as the permanent adult teeth. Baby teeth hold space in the jaws for permanent teeth that are developing under the gums. Children’s permanent teeth generally start coming in between the ages of 6 and 7.

Preventive care can help to eliminate tooth decay. The American Dental Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommend bringing your child to the dentist as early as one years old for an oral health risk assessment.  Regular dental checkups, including fluoride application can help avoid future problems.  We know it’s not easy to get your kids excited to go see the dentist, but starting good habits at an early age can make those appointments much easier (and less frequent).  At Cape May Dental Associates, we see children of all ages.  Call us at (609) 884-5335 to set up an appointment with Dr. Ee to ensure your child has a lifetime of excellent oral health and great smiles!


Could your diabetes be causing you dental problems?

By Chie Li Ee, DMD & Chrissy Boothroyd

If you are one of the 29 million Americans with diabetes, you may be surprised to find that the answer is “Yes”.  You can add periodontal (gum) disease to the list of other possible complications from diabetes, such as heart disease, kidney disease, eye disease and stroke.  Not only are diabetics more likely to have gum disease, but severe gum disease can also affect your blood sugar levels.  If you have been diagnosed with diabetes, you are 3 – 4 times more likely to develop periodontal disease.

Some of the factors that are linked to increased risks of periodontal disease are as follows:

  • The main cause of periodontal disease is bacterial plaque. Toxins produced by the bacteria irritate the gums and cause infection. Diabetics are generally more susceptible to infection and less able to fight germs that invade the gums.
  • Excess body fat may produce chemicals that cause the gums to be more inflamed.
  • Damage to blood vessels in the gums can reduce blood supply which limits the immune response.
  • Wound healing is impaired, so healing of the gums is reduced.
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar levels. If your A1C is greater than 8.5, your risk of periodontal disease is much greater.

Some other possible oral conditions that can occur if you have diabetes are oral thrush, dry mouth and complications after oral surgery. Although you may not be able to prevent these conditions, your dentist can help you minimize the effects.  There are steps that you can take to help prevent some of the dental problems associated with diabetes; controlling your blood sugar, good home care of your teeth and gums and regular cleanings and check-ups at least every six months.  Tell your dentist if you have been diagnosed with diabetes and any medications you may be taking.  Your dentist may recommend more frequent cleanings and check-ups.  The oral cavity is the gateway to the rest of your body and should not be over looked when evaluating one’s overall health.  So the next time you think about cancelling your dental appointment or are too tired to floss, think about how you could be affecting your body.  Cape May Dental Associates is welcoming new patients and always offers comprehensive and thorough dental care.  Call (609) 884-5335 or visit today for more information!