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Dentistry Memphis

Dental Care to Help Diabetics Maintain Good Oral Health

Senior woman flossing her teethDiabetes is a disease that affects millions of Americans. This condition primarily affects the body in one of two ways: inhibiting its ability to produce insulin, or affecting the way it processes glucose. In either case, the result can be heightened blood sugar levels. What many diabetic patients may not know is that even oral health can be affected by diabetes, making general dentistry services to monitor the health of the teeth and gums extremely important. Dr. Timothy Messer offers quality dental care for diabetics at his Memphis, TN practice.

How Diabetes Affects Oral Health

The most common effect of diabetes is elevated blood sugar levels. This does not just affect the blood; it can also have a direct impact on the mouth. High blood sugar levels results in higher levels of bacteria and starches in the mouth. The pH balance of the mouth can also be thrown off in diabetic patients. Managing blood sugar levels is key to maintaining a healthy and balanced oral environment because diabetic patients are at an increased risk of the following oral health problems:

  • Tooth decay
  • Tooth erosion
  • Gingivitis (the early stages of gum disease)
  • Periodontitis (advanced stages of gum disease)
  • Dry mouth

Managing Oral Health

The most important thing a patient can do to protect the mouth and body from the effects of diabetes is to keep blood sugar levels within a normal range. To care for the teeth and gums, patients should practice good oral hygiene habits. This includes brushing and flossing regularly, drinking plenty of water, and avoiding foods and beverages that are high in sugars, acids, or starches.

Aside from practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, professional dental care benefits diabetic patients. Below are three areas of dental care that can help diabetic patients maintain good oral health:

  • General dentistry: Routine dental exams and cleanings allow dentists to remove bacteria, plaque, and tartar that build up in hard-to-reach places. In addition, dentists can diagnose dental conditions when they are still in their earliest stages and easiest to treat. Routine exams should be scheduled at least twice a year, but some patients may require more frequent care.
  • Restorative dentistry: Restorative dentistry treatments address dental problems such as cavities, chips, and fractures. Ideally, any dental complication should be treated as soon as possible.
  • Periodontal treatment: Periodontal treatment improves the health of the gums by addressing gingivitis and gum disease. These treatments eliminate infection and rid the gums of plaque and tartar that may have built up beneath the gum line.

Schedule an Appointment

If you suffer from diabetes, it is important to seek professional dental care from a dentist who understands the impact this condition can have on the mouth. Dr. Timothy Messer is experienced in providing dental care to diabetics, and offers a full range of dental treatments that will allow these patients to maintain good oral health. To learn more about these services, schedule an appointment with Dr. Messer at your earliest convenience.

Tagged In: General Dentistry, Restorative Dentistry

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I have been to several dentists in the Memphis Area and I have finally found THE ONE!! Dr. Messer is the best dentist I have ever been to. I have complete confidence in any procedure that he performs and I can't imagine ever going to any other dentist.

-Meredith Page B.