History of the First Dentist

Ancient Egypt was influential in the pioneering of medical and dental fields into the world. Specifically, the Egyptians focused greatly on their overall health, and it was believed that their life expectancy was longer than in any other part of the world. However, erosion was still a common problem that lead to the development of many treatments for the several oral infections that bothered them. Because dental conditions can be deadly if left untouched, it was critical for Ancient Egyptians to create and improve dental practices.

Hesy-Re was the first known dentist and was instrumental in the advancement of the dental techniques we use today. During the third dynasty of Egypt, Hesy-Re was not only a royal physician to Pharaoh Djoser, but a government official and scribe. His greatest title was the ‘Chief of Physicians and Dentists,’ indicating that there was a degree of medical specialization during this early stage of history of Ancient Egypt.

In particular, Hesy-Re was known to practice dentistry on the peasant laborers working on the pyramids. When treating infections, Hesy-Re would drill holes directly into the teeth of his patients. This drilling directly contributed to advanced dental techniques, such as root canal therapy. But, this procedure would have been very painful because anesthesia was not yet designed.

Because of his influence in medical advancements and his relationship with the Pharaoh, Hesy-Re was given an especially ornate tomb. Hieroglyphics depicting various doctor postures and positions adorn the tomb, including detailed engravings of medical instruments.

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Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Peridontal Disease

Progression of Periodontal Disease

November is Diabetes Awareness month, and no better time to talk about the importance of your oral health and how it relates to the rest of your body especially if you have Diabetes.

We all know that the importance of bi-annual cleanings and for individuals who have periodontal disease, 3-4 times a year. Your oral health is part of an entire systemic process and it can distress your overall health. Individuals with periodontal disease stand a slightly higher risk to heart disease and other infections that could affect your health as whole.

Individuals, who have Diabetes, stand a higher risk of infection and experience more difficulty fighting periodontal disease hence the need for cleanings 3-4 times a year. Individuals with Diabetes who do not have their blood sugar or glucose levels under control, can struggle fighting infections and typically have more bacteria and plaque than the average person. What this means is these individuals are at a higher risk of having oral health issues and fighting infections in general.

Periodontal disease is an oral disease that affects the gum, tooth and bone. Periodontal disease can increase an individual’s ability to fight bacteria that invades the oral cavity. For this very reason, patients with periodontal disease are seen more than twice a year to remove these colonies of bacteria that form in a smaller period of time. If periodontal disease goes untreated, these bacteria that corrode the gum and bone could eventually make its way to the heart, and possibly causing systemic issues and potential heart issues as well.

Undiagnosed Diabetes is a serious health situation as it can contribute to high blood pressure and is also related to high cholesterol which can hugely escalate the threat of cardiovascular disease and heart attacks. Individuals living with Diabetes can be at greater risk of elevated blood sugar levels resulting in infections from periodontal disease. It is recommended to get your blood sugar levels at least once a year at your annual physical.

A clean mouth is a healthy mouth and in most cases a clean mouth is a healthy body!