Periodontal Program for Diabetics

Periodontal, or gum, disease can make it harder to control diabetes. Eisner Pediatric & Family Medical Center is one of the few community clinics that offer periodontal services for our diabetic patients.

Periodontal disease is caused by the buildup of plaque around your teeth. Plaque produces bacteria. That bacteria can get underneath your gums and weaken your bones and teeth. It also causes infections that can drive your blood sugar levels out of control. If you have diabetes, you’re more likely than most people to develop gum problems.

With diabetes, you’re already at an increased risk for cavities and mouth infections. It’s one of the reasons that if you receive your medical care here at EPFMC, your doctor will refer you to our Dental Clinic for treatment.

Some studies suggest that if you’re pregnant, gum disease can also affect your baby. It may be one of the reasons for low birth-weight babies. If you’re pregnant, regular dental care should be part of your prenatal care. This is one of the reasons dental care is covered by Medi-Cal for expectant mothers. If you’re diabetic and pregnant, you’re eligible for a periodontal screening.

The Periodontal Program at EPFMC

Under our Periodontal Program for Diabetics, a periodontist visits EPFMC three times a month to perform surgery under the gum pockets for our diabetic patients. She also performs screenings for pregnant diabetic patients.

Periodontal disease starts out as gingivitis. If you have gingivitis, your gums may bleed when you brush your teeth.

If it gets worse, your gums may begin to separate from your teeth.

This can trap bacteria in the space between your teeth and gums, called pockets. This can increase your risk for infections, drive up your blood sugar, or destroy the bones that hold your teeth in place.

Our periodontist performs surgery to remove the pockets between your teeth and gums. First, she performs deep cleaning under the pockets to remove the bacteria. After removing the pockets, she reshapes the gum to fit tightly around the teeth.

This can:

  • Save the affected bone and teeth
  • Help get your diabetes under control by removing bacteria that was affecting your blood sugar levels

After the treatment, it’s important to continue good hygiene habits. Brush your teeth twice a day; floss once a day. Pay attention to changes inside your mouth. For example, if your gums bleed when you brush your teeth, be sure to tell your dentist right away.

Medi-Cal and Healthy Way LA cover these services if you qualify.

What's Next?