Diabetes and oral health
People with diabetes who have uneven blood glucose levels have an advanced risk of tooth problems and gum disease than people without diabetes. This is because they have lowered immunity to infection and may not heal as easily. If you are living with diabetes you need to pay specific attention to your oral health and dental care as well as controlling your blood glucose levels. The first signs and symptoms of diabetes can occur in the mouth so paying attention to your oral health can also lead to prior diagnosis and treatment. The most common oral health problems affecting people with diabetes are periodontal disease, gum abscess, tooth decay, fungal infection, such as thrush, lichen planus(an inflammatory autoimmune skin condition), mouth ulcers, taste disturbances dry burning mouth( low saliva levels).
Periodontal disease is caused by an infection that destroys the bone surrounding and supporting your teeth. This bone holds your teeth into your jawbones and allows you to chew comfortably. Bacteria and food debris called dental plaque are essential for gum disease, it is common and more severe in people with suboptimal blood glucose levels. This is because they normally have lower resistance to infection and reduced healing capacity. With increased blood glucose levels people living with diabetes may have additional glucose in their saliva and very dry mouth. These conditions allow dental plaque to build on teeth which lead to tooth decay and cavities. Oral thrush is a fungal infection it is caused by an overgrowth of the yeast, Candida Albicans which occurs naturally in the mouth due to diabetes it contributes to oral thrush.
If a person living with diabetes and wish to prevent tooth and gum problems it is advisable to fallow your doctor’s advice about diet and medication to keep your blood sugar levels as close to optimal levels as possible. Visit your dentist frequently for advice about proper home care, primary intervention, and regular preventive maintenance visits to keep your teeth and gums healthy. Avoid having a dry mouth drink more water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.