People with diabetes are more prone to developing oral health problems. This is because the white blood cells that guard against mouth infections become weak when you have uncontrolled diabetes. Read more to learn how diabetes affects the oral health of patients and what preventive steps you can take.
Which oral health problems are more common among people with diabetes?
Here are a few of the oral health issues that people with diabetes commonly face.
Uncontrolled diabetes often leads to a decrease in saliva flow, resulting in dry mouth. This can further lead to infections, tooth decay, soreness, and ulcers.
Gingivitis and Periodontitis
Diabetes also causes your blood vessels to thicken and slows down the flow of nutrients to the body tissues. Due to this, your mouth tissues lose their ability to fight infections, making you more susceptible to bacterial infections like periodontal and gum diseases.
Poor Healing of Oral Tissues
Another complication of uncontrolled diabetes is slow wound healing after dental procedures or oral surgeries. This is because the blood flow to the treatment site is impaired in people with diabetes.
People with diabetes are also susceptible to developing fungal infections of the tongue and the mouth since these fungi thrive on the high glucose levels present in diabetic patients’ saliva. These fungal infections are called thrush, and they can also develop due to the constant wearing of dentures. Burning sensations in the tongue and mouth are caused by thrush.
How can diabetic patients prevent oral health problems?
In addition to keeping good oral hygiene practices, diabetic people should try to reduce or prevent oral health problems by following these essential tips:
- Always try to keep your blood sugar levels close to normal levels.
- Keep your dentist informed about the current status of your diabetes, your past medical history, and any therapy or medication you may be currently undergoing. Also provide your doctor’s phone number to your dentist in case of any medical emergencies.
- See your doctor before scheduling your periodontal appointment.
- Make sure your periodontist consults with your doctor regarding your general health condition in case you have an oral surgery planned.
- If your blood sugar is uncontrolled, postpone all non-emergency dental procedures.
- Follow post-treatment instructions carefully as wounds heal slowly.
- Call your orthodontist straight away if a bracket or a wire from a brace cuts your mouth or tongue.