Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth. Dental care is particularly important for people with diabetes because they face a higher than normal risk of oral health problems due to poorly controlled blood sugars. The less well controlled the blood sugar, the more likely oral health problems will arise.
What Dental Problems Are People With Diabetes at Higher Risk For?
1. Gum diseases –
Poorly controlled Type 2 diabetics are more likely to develop periodontal diseases than controlled diabetics.
Besides impairing white blood cells, another complication of diabetes is that it causes blood vessels to thicken, which slows the flow of nutrients to and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. When this combination of events happens, the body’s ability to fight infections is reduced. Since periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, diabetics with the uncontrolled disease may experience more frequent and more severe gum disease.
Typically it shows –
Bleeding gums, swollen gums, the recession of gums, bad breath, itchy gums, and loose teeth.
2. Dry mouth –
Uncontrolled diabetes can decrease saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. Dry mouth can further lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
3. Tooth decay
4. Fungal infections –
diabetics are more prone to develop fungal infections of mouth as the fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes.
5. Lesions of mouth –
Lesions like lichen planus may develop in the uncontrolled diabetics more than the ones with controlled diabetes.
6. Taste impairment
7. Delayed healing
Wounds of People with uncontrolled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment site can be impaired.
Let your dentist know –
- If you are diagnosed with diabetes
- If it is controlled or not
- If you take insulin or not
Your oral hygiene routine should include –
- Brushing twice daily
- Floss daily
- Limited sweet intake
- Using fluoride toothpaste
- Visiting your dentist regularly.