- World Diabetes Day is observed on 14 November each year
- Regular exercise can help prevent diabetes
- Follow oral hygiene practices to avoid diabetes related dental problems
Diabetes is a long-term disease in which it is important to maintain healthy blood sugar levels. Most of the food that you eat is turned into glucose (sugar) for your body to use for energy. The pancreas, an organ that lies near the stomach, makes a hormone called insulin to help glucose get into the cells of your body. Different types of diabetes can affect individuals. The most common is type-2 diabetes. You might be surprised to know that diabetics can suffer from frequent dental problems due to unhealthy blood sugar levels. In this article, you will learn about how diabetes leads to dental issues and ways to prevent these.
World Diabetes Day 2020: Impact of diabetes on dental health
Diabetes and the oral cavity go hand in hand. Surprisingly oral cavity is not given much importance, but diabetes affects all soft and hard tissues of the mouth.
People with poorly controlled diabetes are at a greater risk for dental problems. They are more likely to have infections of their gums and bones that hold their teeth in place because diabetes can cause a reduction in blood supply to the gums. High blood sugar may also cause dry mouth and make gum diseases worse. If diabetes left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here's how:
5 major side effects and how to overcome them
1. Xerostomia dry mouth
It is one of the major symptoms of diabetes. You may have less saliva, causing dry mouth. Drink a lot of water to keep your mouth moist. Also, rinse your mouth after every meal two to three times with a mouth wash of your choice, swirl it at least for 30 seconds each for best results.
2. Gums may become inflamed and might bleed often (gingivitis)
Almost 22 percent of diabetics are diagnosed with gum bleeding and inflamed gums, commonly known as gingivitis that is because diabetes reduces blood supply to the gums leading to unhealthy gums. Gums are the foundation of your teeth. Healthy gums are equal to healthy teeth. Massage them regularly. Massaging in a circular motion for 5 minutes every morning and evening with oil of your choice (olive oil, vitamin E oil, almond oil) can do wonder for your gums.
3. You may have problem tasting food
Diabetes can lead to tongue coating as well which leads to suppression of the taste buds. So, tongue cleaning should be on priority. You can do it once a day, tongue cleaning with glycerin and cotton pad can prove to be magical not only for the lovely pink tongue but also for bacterial free oral cavity.
4. You may experience delayed wound healing
Diabetes leads to delayed wound healing so any cut or bruise in the mouth can take longer to heal. Visit your dentist regularly if you face any discomfort. If you wear any type of denture clean them every day and make sure these are well fitted.
5. You may also be susceptible of infections inside your mouth
Control your blood sugar levels. Use your diabetes-related medication as directed, changing to a healthier diet and even exercising can assist in the management of blood sugar levels. Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight against any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth.
Note: For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.
(Dr. Gunita Singh is a Dentist and Director at Dentem)
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. NDTV is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. The information, facts or opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of NDTV and NDTV does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same.