Oral Health & Hygiene Memphis, TN

diabetes and oral health memphis tn dentistThe oral-systemic link is becoming one of the most studied relationships in both the dental and medical profession as we become increasingly aware of the impact that the state of our dental health has on our overall health and well being. The mouth is one of the main points of entry into the body for harmful bacteria that can lead to both dental problems and an increased risk for many diseases and illnesses. Dr. Elizabeth Lee treats you as a whole person when you become her dental patient, working with you as an individual to provide the personalized care and oral hygiene advice you need to keep your unique smile healthy.

Disease prevention and patient education are two important principles serving as the foundation for your dental care in our Memphis dentist office. During your visit with Dr. Lee, she screens for periodontal disease, oral cancer and any signs of change in the soft tissues of the mouth or surface of the teeth that may indicate a developing problem. When necessary, appropriate dentistry is recommended to restore your oral health or you may be referred to your general physician to address any overall health concerns.

If you have health concerns, discuss them with Dr. Lee and our team of dental professionals when you visit. Understanding your lifestyle habits, medical history and the state of your overall health enables us identify specific risk factors for you and to make recommendations on how best to avoid many common dental concerns that can affect your overall health.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Recent studies have proven the effect that oral health and diabetes can have on each other. Patients with diabetes are often more susceptible to tooth decay and periodontal disease due to the fluctuations in blood sugar, which in turn affects your ability to manage your disease effectively. Certain medications that diabetic patients take can cause a condition called “dry mouth”, which also increases the incidence of these dental problems.

Periodontal disease allows harmful bacteria to enter the bloodstream, as the gums lose their ability to serve as a protective barrier. This has been linked to increased internal inflammation that can compromise the immune system and increase the severity of symptoms related to diabetes.

Dr. Lee can work with you to maintain a healthy smile and prevent conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease from affecting your health and your quality of life.

GERD and Acid Reflux

Many patients suffer with the common condition known as GERD, or acid reflux, but most have no idea that in addition to damaging the esophagus it is affecting their dental health.

Acid reflux means that the acids from the stomach that work to break down your food are pushed back up into the esophagus and then the mouth, resulting in the often painful symptom known as “heartburn.”

These acids, when they come into contact with the teeth, erode tooth enamel and can also affect the soft tissues of the mouth, leading to gum disease. In addition, many of the common medications prescribed to treat your acid reflux will reduce saliva production, leading to dry mouth and increasing your risk of tooth decay and gum disease.

Dr. Lee works with patients who are experiencing a loss of tooth enamel to help mitigate present damage and prevent future damage so that the teeth can remain healthy and strong.

Cardiovascular Disease and Oral Health

One of the most important “mouth-body” connections is the link between oral health and your risk for cardiovascular disease and strokes.

Dr. Lee emphasizes the importance of keeping not only the teeth, but also the gums healthy to prevent harmful bacteria from being able to enter into the bloodstream and affect the health of your cardiovascular system.

Patients with poor oral health are at a much greater risk of arterial disease, which leads to a risk of stroke and other heart health concerns.

Understanding your overall health and personal risk factors can be life saving. Dr. Lee and our team can offer personalized oral hygiene advice to address any lifestyle habits or health concerns that may affect your oral health.