2-28. DIABETES MELLITUS
Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the body is unable to use carbohydrates
(primarily sugar) caused by a deficiency in the insulin secretion of the pancreas. This
disease is controlled by strict dietary restriction supplemented, as needed, by insulin or
other drugs. This metabolic disorder lowers tissue resistance to infection and retards
healing. Diabetics also appear to be more susceptible to periodontal disease. This
disease may be accompanied by a tendency of gingival tissues to bleed easily.
2-29. ADDISON'S DISEASE
This disease is characterized by increased deposits of melanin in the tissue.
Pigmentation of the lips, mucosa, and gingiva are common. Addison's disease is
caused by insufficient secretion of the adrenal glands. Since these patients are very
sensitive to minor stresses, dental procedures must be carried out with proper
Hemophilia is a condition in which bleeding is profuse because of inadequate
clotting factors. The lack of the clotting mechanism results in prolonged, uncontrolled
bleeding. This condition is a sex-linked hereditary disease confined mainly to males,
but it is transmitted by females. The eruption of teeth or extraction or exfoliation of teeth
may be accompanied by bleeding, possibly lasting days. Since death could result from
hemophilia, recognition of it is important before even minor dental procedures are
attempted. These patients should be treated under controlled conditions, such as at a
hospital dental clinic.
Section V. TRANSMITTABLE DISEASES
The dental specialist must be aware of some diseases that can be transmitted in
the dental clinic. Being aware of these diseases will make sterilization and disinfection
procedures more meaningful.
2-32. INFLUENZA AND THE COMMON COLD
Influenza, the common flu, is spread by airborne droplet viruses that consist of
many different antigenic types. Therefore, it is difficult for a vaccine to be completely
effective. New antigenic types are produced by mutation of the viruses. The common
cold is caused by many different viruses (possibly hundreds), each of which may have