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Effects of Diabetes on Oral Health

Posted by : Pooja Agrawal on | Jun 20,2019

Nearly 30 million people in the United States of America suffer from Diabetes which accounts for almost 9.3% of the population. Around 1.7 million new cases are diagnosed each year and about 8.1 million people having diabetes don’t even know they have it - Laura MartinCase Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine.

People with diabetes have a high risk of developing bigger oral problems. It reduces the normal blood flow to and from gums which increases the chances of gum infection. With high glucose levels in your body, the saliva that helps wash away the acids and plaque will turn into a power source for the bacteria in our mouth contributing to major oral problems.

One more complication that makes diabetes a major risk is that it slows down the self-healing process of our body. Due to this the gum disease that supposes to cure, for example within a month or so could take much more time. Diabetes also contributes to dry mouth which means the normal saliva production is no more in function. This makes way for other problems such as Thrush- a type of yeast infection caused by fungus growth in our mouth.

What are the most common oral problems for diabetes? A diabetes patient can have the following problems:

  • Gingivitis

  • Periodontitis

  • Thrush or Candidiasis

  • Xerostomia or Dry mouth

  • Oral Burning

  • Sores and ulcers

You should be aware of the symptoms of any oral problems. Check your mouth of any signs of problems caused by diabetes. Most diseases show visible oral symptoms one or the other way and so does diabetes. Symptoms include sores or ulcers that do not heal, dark spots or holes on teeth, pain in mouth or face or jaw, loose teeth, pain while chewing, change of taste, bad breath, and the list go on. In case you see or feel any of the symptoms then you should quickly visit your dentist and do mention that you are suffering from diabetes. Although, they would recommend controlling your blood sugar levels before any kind of invasive procedures if required.

What is the best course of action to tackle oral problems for a diabetes patient? Here teamwork including self-care and professional care from the dentist is the best solution. Things that you can do to keep the finest oral health are:

  • Controlling your blood sugar levels: Make sure that you take all your medications for diabetes as directed. For better results try changing to a healthier diet with mineral and nutrient-rich foods.

  • Quit Intoxication: Smoking, tobacco, and alcohol lowers the immunity and increases the risk of getting oral problems.

  • Clean your dentures: In case you are wearing any dentures, make sure that you clean it every day.

  • Brush with a soft bristle toothbrush and a fluoride toothpaste. Flossing with a water flosser between your teeth should be a part of your daily oral regime.

  • Visit your dentist for frequent check-ups.

Suffering from any major disease shouldn’t stop you from following intimate oral hygiene.