Diabetes Affect Oral Health

Recently a study found out that 422 million people around the world is suffering from diabetes. It is one of the main causes of death worldwide.

The side effects of diabetes are very well known which are stroke, heart disease,blindness and kidney failure. Reports have it now that diabetes is a leading cause for gum diseases thus affecting periodontium which includes bones and other supporting structures.

How diabetes is related to gum disease?

The main role diabetes plays is to reduce the resistance of the body which in turn slows the healing process of a person. The people who have uncontrolled diabetes are more prone to have gum diseases and other oral problems as uncontrolled diabetes impairs the leukocytes, that are the white blood cells of the body (the main defence system of the body) which affects the programming of the immune system of the body. It also decreases the salivary flow in the mouth and increases salivary glucose levels which would increases in the risk of fungal and bacterial infections and will cause thrush andtooth decay.

What are other problems a diabetic patient could experience?

  • Thrush – a fungal infection on tongue that produces sores and white non-scrapable patches which is very painful and is accompanied by ulcers. It produces difficulty in swallowing and ability to taste.
  • Dry mouth(xerostomia) – in diabetic condition the salivary flow is also compromised which could lead to dry mouth which in turn leads to soreness, ulcers, tooth decay and other infections..
  • Impaired healing–As diabetes hinders with the immunity of the body, it does not let gums heal after having minor surgeries or other dental procedures.
  • Burning Mouth Syndrome (BMS) –it is a very painful and irritating condition in which there is a burning sensation affecting the tongue, the roof of the mouth, the gums, the inside of the, cheeks and the back of the mouth or throat.

Signs of Gum Disease

  • Severely red, swollen or tender gums
  • Gums bleeding when you brush or floss.
  • Loose gums
  • Bad breath
  • Loose and mobile teeth
  • Changes in the fit of your dentures or bridges
  • Pus when the gums are pressed
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite

Prevention from dental problems with diabetes

  1. Brushing your teeth for at least two minutes twice daily. Floss also should be done daily. Consult your dentist and ask for toothpaste and mouth-rinse according to your needs.
  2. Always manage your blood glucose level. Consult and follow your doctor’s instructions to maintain your blood sugar level within the advised range
  3. Visit dentist regularly and be sure to inform your dentist about your diabetes.
  4. Stop smoking. People who smoke with diabetes are at 20 times more risk for developing gum diseases than non-smokers.
  5. People, who wear dentures, should remove their dentures and clean them on daily basis.
  6. Always go for a professional check-up and teeth cleanings at least twice a year.