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Managing Diabetes and Dental Health in Charlotte – What You Need to Know

tooth model

According to the National Diabetes Statistics Report, this condition affects over 28 million people in the US, making up about 11% of our population. While it can lead to several other complications, many fail to realize just how closely diabetes and dental health are interconnected. Let’s take a closer look at this link and explore how your dentist in Charlotte, NC, can make a difference.

When It Comes to All Things Dental, Diabetes Can Add Plenty of Insult to Injury

Living with diabetes can bring a host of challenges, including increased risks for conditions like heart and kidney disease, as well as nerve damage. On top of that, poor oral health is related to the symptoms, and in some cases, it might even contribute to the development of diabetes. 

Diabetes and Dental Health – Common Causes of Problems in the Mouth

When this condition is not controlled, the risk of oral issues is significantly increased. In turn, having these problems can further complicate diabetes management by affecting blood sugar control, i.e. hyperglycemia and hypoglycemia

All in all, diabetics are more susceptible to problems of the mouth compared to those without the conditions. Let’s explore the primary reasons for this increased risk:

  • High blood sugar levels – creates a favorable environment in the mouth for bacteria to flourish, 
  • Weakened immune system – this condition makes it more challenging for the body to combat oral infections, 
  • Poor blood circulation – this affects the gums and teeth by limiting the delivery of oxygen and nutrients to these tissues. 

Why Is Dental Care Important for Diabetes and Overall Health?

As we’ve just explored, diabetics are at a heightened risk for oral issues to develop. In other words, when it comes to diabetes, dental care emerges as a crucial way to prevent and manage potential complications. Aspire Dental Wellness, our general dentistry in Charlotte, NC, is committed to being your ally in this journey, offering tailored care that addresses the unique needs of your condition. 

Dentist explaining teeth structure to a patient
For diabetics, the importance of good oral health can’t be overstated

What Oral Health Problems Are Related to This Disease?

Diabetes can lead to a variety of oral issues, primarily due to elevated blood sugar levels that can harm salivary glands and result in dry mouth. This reduced saliva production heightens the risk of cavities, gingivitis, and other conditions, further highlighting the importance of managing diabetes and dental care together. 

Tooth Decay and Dental Cavities Are Typical

For diabetics, the risk of dental cavities is often higher. This is because high blood glucose levels can increase the amount of glucose in saliva. Combined with a drier mouth, these conditions foster the buildup of plaque, which can erode tooth enamel and lead to decay and cavities. Dental fillings, as well as crowns and bridges, are commonly used approaches to deal with the problem. 

Gingivitis Can Develop and Further Compromise Oral Health

Gingivitis, the initial stage of gum disease, occurs when plaque, tartar, and bacteria accumulate on the teeth, causing gums to become red, swollen, and prone to bleeding. Elevated blood sugar levels in diabetics can cause inflammation and damage to the gums, increasing the risk of gingivitis. However, with proper help from your Charlotte dentist in South Park, this condition can be effectively managed. 

Periodontal (Gum) Disease Can Seriously Complicate Your Condition

If plaque on the teeth hardens, it can progress to periodontal disease, an infection of the tissues holding your teeth in place. It begins with swollen, red, and bleeding gums, eventually leading to receding gums and exposed tooth roots. 

This severe form of gum disease, if unchecked, can result in tooth loss. High blood sugar levels also weaken the immune system. This makes it harder to combat such infections, underscoring the importance of effective management and oral care. 

A woman dentist working on a patient
Several complications can develop, so it’s important to stay on top of routine care

It’s Important to Know What You Can Do to Avoid Further Tooth and Gum Complications

Proactively managing your condition is critical in preventing further complications concerning both dental and overall health. By consistently keeping blood sugar levels within a healthy range, you significantly reduce the risk of developing cavities, gingivitis, and other oral problems. 

This vigilant approach is not just about responding to existing issues – it’s about staying ahead of potential problems. Maintaining control over your condition is a key factor in ensuring overall oral health, but this interrelation obviously goes both ways.

Diabetes and Dental Health – It’s All About Good Oral Hygiene Practices

To support your oral health, good hygiene practices are essential. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing daily, following the guidelines set by the American Dental Association. 

Whether you prefer a manual or electric toothbrush, the focus should be on using a tool that comfortably reaches all areas of your mouth. Moreover, soft bristles are recommended to prevent enamel erosion. 

Working With Doctors and Your Periodontist in Charlotte, NC, Will Provide You With the Information and Care You Need

For diabetics, routine dental cleanings and exams are a cornerstone of maintaining good oral health. These visits allow your Charlotte, NC, dentist to spot and address problems early, potentially before they escalate. 

Your dentist may advise more frequent cleanings, such as every three months, to keep your gums and teeth in top condition. They might also recommend antibacterial mouth rinses or antibiotics if necessary. Remember, it’s important to inform your dentist about any changes in your medication, as this can have a direct impact on your oral health. 

Ready to Take Control of Your Dental Health? Let Us Share This Journey With You

Managing oral health is not just a part of routine care for diabetics – it’s a crucial aspect of maintaining overall well-being. At Aspire Dental Wellness, we understand the unique challenges that come with this condition and are dedicated to providing the best, most personalized care. Dr. Sladjana Bjelac and her experienced team are here to offer the support, guidance, and expertise you need. Contact us today, and let’s take your journey towards a healthier, happier smile together. 

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