Oral Health Problems of Diabetic Patients

How Sugar Relates with Teeth

Diabetes cases have increased in an overwhelming fashion in the past year. Majority of these cases are people who have diabetes and are totally unaware that they have it. Besides your genes, diabetes can be brought about by unhealthy food habits and choices as well as the lifestyle that you have. In connection to oral health, the symptoms and other manifestations can be observes in the mouth. Your mouth serves as a gateway to all of your vital organs and any problem with these organs shows in your oral and dental status.

The health risks of diabetes vary on which type you have. Diabetes mainly affects your body’s ability to process sugar. Type 1 diabetes is the insufficient production of the hormone insulin in the body. Insulin is responsible for carrying sugar to the cells that need energy and the lack of it can affect the efficacy of cells to do their jobs. Type 2 diabetes, on the other hand, makes your body unresponsive to insulin. These conditions both result to high blood sugar levels that cause problems for many organs like the heart, kidneys, eyes and your teeth and gums.

Listed below are the symptoms and red flags that you have to watch out for that takes place in the oral cavity. Untreated diabetes is best identified through signs that your mouth show.

Dry Mouth. People with diabetes experience having less saliva production of the salivary glands. They also feel thirsty all the time. Dry mouth can affect the ph balance of your mouth. Saliva plays a big role in washing away bacteria and food particles as it is the body’s way of cleaning your teeth. The absence of saliva encourages bacterial growth that increases the acid levels of the mouth. This could potentially cause the erosion of the tooth’s enamel. Having dry mouth also causes bad breath which makes diabetic persons have that distinct smell in their breath. Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.

Gingivitis. Gingivitis can be a sign that you are diabetic. Your gums would appear red and inflamed. This condition would also make your gums bleed in various activities like eating, speaking and brushing your teeth.

Delayed Healing. Any oral cuts or bruises would take very long time to heal when you have diabetes. If you have wounds in your oral cavity that takes very long to heal, it would be best to get yourself checked as it may be caused by diabetes.

Periodontal Disease. This is the severe stage of gingivitis or gum disease. The bacteria in your mouth are harder to fight as your body has a hard time managing your blood sugar levels. In severe cases of periodontal disease, the gums, teeth and the jaw bone supporting your teeth can be damaged.

To slow down the progression of diabetes, one must regularly visit their oral surgery dentist to treat gum diseases early on. Upon diagnosis, you have to follow the recommendations and medications that your doctor would give you. Self-care of your dental health and managing your sugar levels need to be a priority to fight bacterial and fungal infections in your mouth.