Preventive Dentistry for Diabetic Patients

As a proponent of oral systemic health, Dr. Jim Erpenbach believes in the importance of practicing good oral hygiene for its affect on overall well-being. Patients with specific medical conditions such as diabetes are prone to dental complications. Our staff is committed to providing individualized attention for all our patients, especially those…

As a proponent of oral systemic health, Dr. Jim Erpenbach believes in the importance of practicing good oral hygiene for its affect on overall well-being. Patients with specific medical conditions such as diabetes are prone to dental complications. Our staff is committed to providing individualized attention for all our patients, especially those with special conditions and circumstances. Awareness and education are imperative to practicing preventive dentistry. We strive to educate our diabetic patients on proper oral hygiene and encourage these patients to communicate with us regularly.

How Does Diabetes Affect Dental Health?

Diabetes can cause various dental complications, some more severe than others. Blood sugar is proven to directly affect white blood cell production. Uncontrolled blood sugar debilitates your body’s natural infection-fighting abilities. This can lead to fungal and bacterial infections throughout the mouth, including the tongue and gums. High levels of blood sugar create a more acidic environment in the mouth which leads to a higher rate of cavities and enamel loss in diabetic patients. In more severe cases, it leads to periodontitis, severe gum disease that can destroy teeth, bone, and other soft oral tissues. Periodontitis also spikes blood sugar levels. With a heightened risk for gum disease, diabetics tend to lose more teeth and need more dental procedures than non-diabetic patients.

How Diabetics Can Prevent Gum Disease

It is essential that diabetic patients control their blood glucose. Irregular blood sugar increases the risk for medical and dental complications. Diabetics must maintain a commitment to their total health through monitoring blood glucose, healthy eating habits, regular exercise, and open communication with all medical professionals. We encourage our diabetic patients to inform us of all current medications they are taking, changes in condition, and any concerns or new symptoms that may arise. Two dental examinations per year as well as brushing teeth after meals and flossing are necessary practices for good oral health.  Contact our staff at (865)584-8630 for appointments and inquiries. We proudly serve patients from West Knoxville and the Bearden area.