How Does Diabetes Affect Oral Health?

Health Facts

How do diabetes and gum disease relate to each other?

Diabetes slows the healing process of the body and also reduces the body’s resistance to infection.  That is why oral infections are more severe in case of people who have diabetes.  This goes without saying that you are more prone to oral health problems if you have uncontrolled diabetes. This happens because uncontrolled diabetes impairs leukocytes or White Blood Cells, the body’s primary defense against infections. Diabetes also increases the salivary glucose level and decreases the flow of saliva. . This creates the perfect setting for the fungal infections to cope up such as thrush.

Diabetes happens to be one of the most chronic diseases that affect over 400 million people from all around the world.  Not only that, this is also one of the major causes of death in most parts of the world.

If you have diabetes then you may be already aware of the fact that the chances of stroke, heart disease and kidney failure get magnified when you suffer from this disease. It is also a significant cause that can lead to amputation and blindness. Periodontal or gum disease can also occur if you have diabetes.

What problems could diabetic patients experience?

  • Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) – Diabetes can reduce the flow of saliva that in turn can give rise to dry mouth. Dry mouth can lead to ulcers, soreness, infections and tooth decay.
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) – This happens to be a frustrating and painful condition that may affect the roof of the mouth, the tongue, the inside of the mouth, the gums and the cheeks and back of the mouth and the throat. This often leads to a burning sensation in the lips, tongues, palate or throughout the mouth. This is often called burning lips or tongue syndrome.
  • Poor Oral Tissue Healing – After oral surgery or other oral procedures people with diabetes do not heal quickly as blood flow to the site of the treatment can be impaired.
  • Thrush – This is a kind of fungus that grows in the mouth. Thrush gives rise to white patches in the mouth that can become sore and ulcerous. It can cause difficulty in swallowing, may attack the tongue and even restrain your ability to taste.

What are the early symptoms of gum disease?

  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss
  • Red, tender or swollen gums
  • Permanent teeth that are moving away from each other or are loose
  • Pus between the teeth and the gums when the gums are pressed
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite
  • Bad breath
  • Changes in the fit of your bridges and dentures

How to prevent dental problems associated with gum disease

Here are some tips that will help to keep dental problems associated with gum disease at bay.

  • Take care of your teeth and gums. You should brush your teeth for at least, a couple of minutes twice a day. Floss on a daily basis. You may also ask the dentist if you need mouth rinses.
  • Mange and keep your blood glucose level in check. You should follow the instructions of your doctor to keep the blood sugar level within the target range.
  • Opt for professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year.
  • If you have dentures then you should remove and clean them on a daily basis.
  • Visit the best dentist in Delhi regularly and don’t forget to mention that you have diabetes to the dentist.
  • You should refrain from smoking. People who are diabetic and smoke are even at a higher risk (almost 20 times more) than the non-smokers for developing periodontal diseases.

Now that you know how diabetes affects oral health and how to stay safe you should follow your dental hygiene routine more religiously so that diabetes cannot stop you from flaunting your pearly whites with confidence whenever you want.

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