- Diabetes increases the risk of dental-related issues
- Follow oral hygiene practices to avoid these issues linked with diabetes
- Controlling blood sugar levels can also help prevent oral problems
If you are suffering from diabetes, it is essential to control your blood sugar levels. If left uncontrolled, diabetes can increase the risk of several health conditions. You might be surprised to know the people with diabetes are more prone to dental problems than their counterparts. Some dental issues may also indicate the onset of diabetes. Therefore, it is essential for people with diabetes to monitor their oral health and visit a dental professional on a regular basis. These practices help in early diagnosis and timely treatment. In this article, you will learn about different dental issues that can affect diabetics and how to prevent those.
Diabetes: Common dental problems in diabetics
1. Gingivitis and periodontitis:
Gum diseases are more common in people with diabetes as they are immunocompromised and have a slower healing rate. Raised sugar levels also lead to plaque build-up causing loosening of gums ultimately leading to gingivitis and periodontitis in more severe cases.
2. Dental decay:
Increased deposition of plaque, increased sugar level and poor immunity leads to more bacterial flora in the mouth and dental decay.
3. Dry/burning mouth:
Uncontrolled diabetes may lead to dryness in the mouth causing a burning sensation. You might experience it as a side effect of some medications.
4. Oral thrush:
Oral thrush is a condition that leads to white or red patches in the oral cavity. It is caused by the overgrowth of candida albicans (yeast which is naturally found in oral environment). Low saliva levels and high sugar content in the oral cavity triggers its overgrowth contributing to oral thrush.
5. Bad breath (Halitosis):
Saliva acts as a natural cleanser for your oral cavity. Oral dryness and more plaque build-up lead to poor oral hygiene and bad breath.
6. Mouth ulcers:
Slow healing of wounds is one of the classic symptoms of diabetes. Dry mouth and increased infections can contribute to mouth ulcers that may take more time to heal.
Word of caution:
As this is a two-way deal, uncontrolled blood sugar levels can increase your chances of gum disease and severe gum disease in turn can lead to diabetes complications. Hence, optimal oral hygiene is a must for diabetics.
Pay regular visits to your dentists to control the above-mentioned conditions on time. Your dentist must know about your diabetic condition and medications to carry dental procedures safely. Blood sugar levels should be controlled before dental procedures to avoid any complication.
Quit smoking, as smoking worsens gum diseases. Also, it is essential to maintain healthy blood sugar levels.
(Dr. Yogesh Vats is a Delhi-based Dentist)
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