We all know that diabetes has now become a common disease and it is possible to keep it under control.
But, one can only take measures to live a healthy life when he/she knows that he/she is diabetic.
Is it possible that you may be suffering from diabetes and not know about it?
Research tells us that there are 8.1 million such people in the United States alone.
This is why it is called the “silent killer”.
While it is a common knowledge that in the long run, diabetes cause harm to heart, kidneys, nerves, and eyes, do you know that it is one of those diseases that affect all parts of our body? Mouth is not an exception either.
Oral Health Problems Caused By Diabetes
If not treated, diabetes mellitus will negatively affect oral health and could lead to several oral issues and diseases. Some of the common problems include:
- An increased risk of periodontal (gum) disease, including both Gingivitis and Periodontitis.
- Tooth decay
- Dysfunction of salivary glands that causes dry mouth due to decreased saliva production.
- Decreased production of saliva ultimately puts you at the risk of developing cavities (saliva serves as a protective layer for teeth), ulcers and soreness.
- Inflammatory skin disease
- Taste impairment
- Fungal infections, such as thrush
- Delayed healing
In general, diabetics have a much higher risk of developing certain dental and gum diseases because diabetes contributes towards weakening your natural resistance against infections and bacteria. This allows bacteria to easily attack your gums and cause various diseases. This is why periodontal disease is so common among diabetics.
According to research, 22% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes suffer from it, making it the most prevalent disease among diabetics.
How Diabetics Should Take Care Of Oral Health?
As they say, prevention is better than cure; it is advised to take up preventive oral healthcare measures as soon as someone is diagnosed with diabetes. These include regular visits to the dentist in addition to brushing and flossing the right way.
Remember that there is a two-way connection between periodontal disease and diabetes. This means that on one hand, diabetes increases the risk of developing periodontal disease, while on the other hand, the gum disease may also affect your blood glucose level and control and thus contributes to increased blood sugar level.
In addition to paying regular visits to a reliable and AAID accredited dentist, it is also highly important to be in touch with your endocrinologist/ diabetologist in order to keep your blood glucose level in control. If you wear dentures, do clean them properly on daily basis.
Also, avoid habits and practices that generally produce negative effects on teeth and gums, such as smoking, consuming too much sugar or alcohol, and poor hygiene.