Diabetes is a condition caused by complete or absolute lack of insulin due to abnormal carbohydrate, fat, protein metabolism. It creates concomitant oral manifestations that impact dental health and has its own set of acute and chronic complications. Diabetes can never be cured but it can be controlled.
Here are the 5 ways in which diabetes affects your mouth.
- Diabetes causes dry mouth – at night especially.
Uncontrolled diabetes affects salivary functions and that creates a condition called as ‘xerostomia’ aslo known as dry mouth. Dry mouth prevents physiologic cleaning of oral cavity as there is lack of saliva. Symptoms of dry mouth include a sticky, dry feeling in mouth and throat, increased chewing time, mouth sores and a red & raw tongue. It increases the chances of having dental caries, cavities and gum infections. A simple remedy for dry mouth is to drink plenty of water and fluids to keep your oral cavity hydrated.
2.Taste dysfunction Diabetes causes metallic or salty taste in mouth
Neurosensory disturbances in diabetes affects taste perception i.e. no taste sensation to any kind of food. Patient cannot distinguish any taste. There may be, however, a metallic or salty aftertaste in the mouth, which is unpleasant. This can affect oral hygiene maintenance too.
3.Diabetes may cause Gum diseases
Diabetes creates lowers body immunity in body and this creates low resistance to bacteria. Because of this, growth of disease producing bacteria increases which may that result into various gum diseases. Sign of gum diseases are like bleeding from swollen gums, mobile teeth, and pus discharge from gums. Interestingly, There is a two way relation between diabetes and gum diseases – means patient with diabetes have increased chances of developing gum diseases and patients who have gum diseases without diabetes, there are have a higher increases chances of to developing diabetes as long standing gum diseases produces insulin resistance. and patient with diabetes there are increased chances of developing gum diseases. Diabetes also delays wound healing and chronic condition without treatment get worse.
4.Diabetes may cause Candidiasis
Diabetes decrease immunity of the body due to Diabetes this creates way to develop many opportunistic infections. E.g. like candidiasis. In this condition, a white membrane forms on the gums and other oral tissues. After removal of it, bleeding spots and pain occurs. If you see any white covering on your gums or tongue, visit your dentist immediately. Your dentist can diagnose the condition and suggest you the medications for the same.
5.Diabetes may cause Burning Mouth Syndrome
Dry mouth and low immunity creates conditions in oral cavity like leukoplakia, lichen planus, mouth ulcers and various other oral mucosal diseases. And these conditions together forms burning mouth syndrome problem in which there is burning or scalding of tongue, gums, lips, palate and throat.. These conditions can be associated with various other causes. Careful diagnosis and treatment is important in cases like this. Dentist only help you out from this.
Neurosensory disturbances in diabetes affect taste perception i.e. no taste sensation to any kind of food. Patient cannot distinguish any taste. This can affect oral hygiene maintenance too.
If you are diagnosed with diabetes, pay keep regular visits to your physician and the dentist. Their co-ordination is important to requires to treat oral problems associated with diabetes.. Regular dental visits are important that helps to keep your blood sugar levels near normal. Research have shown that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene regularly and having professional deep cleanings done by dentist can help to lower your HbA1c (gold standard lab test to check the efficiency of sugar control medicines)
Teamwork involving self-care and professional care from dentist will be helpful in keeping your healthy smile as well as potentially retarding theslowing progression of diabetes. Here are somefive oral health-related tips you can do for optimal wellness:
• Control your blood sugar levels. Use your diabetes-related medications as directed by physician, changing to a healthier diet, exercising, mediation and yoga can help. Good blood sugar control helps your body fight against bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
• Avoid smoking.
• Keep your dentures clean each and every day.
• Increase your water and fluid intake.
• Be aware and conscious of any changes in your mouth and when noticed, report immediately.
• Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush.
• Visit your dentist for regular checkups.