What most people do not know is that diabetes still remains as one of the leading causes of deaths in the world, taking the life of 4 million people in 2017 itself. Not just that, near about 425 million adults had been living with diabetes as far as the 2017 statistics go, according to the International Diabetes Federation. Being diagnosed with Diabetes is definitely not a good place to be in as it brings along conditions with alarming complications such as kidney failure, stroke, and heart diseases. But, did you know that diabetes and oral health are also related? This is because diabetes is also the leading cause of gum diseases?
Oral health is at a major risk of degradation in people with diabetes. Not only are oral infections more severe in people with diabetes but, it also gives way to several other kinds of oral health problems.
The relation between diabetes and gum diseases
Diabetes slows down the body’s ability to heal and recover. The condition also reduces the ability of the body to resist infections. This is the reason why oral infections escalate at severely alarming rates in people with diabetes. The infection goes out of control and spreads very quickly. It is extremely severe in such cases.
Not only this but, people who suffer from uncontrolled diabetes also suffer from a variety of oral health problems. The reason for this is the leukocytes or white blood cells, which are the primary defense mechanisms for the body against infections, are weakened terribly in people who have uncontrolled diabetes.
The salivary flow is also decreased and the salivary glucose levels are increased in people who have diabetes. This creates the appropriate setting for fungal infections to occur.
The various types of problems that a diabetic person experiences
- Burning Mouth Syndrome is a painful condition wherein the roof of the mouth, tongue, gums, back of the mouth and inside of the cheeks are affected. It causes a burning sensation in the entire mouth and is extremely frustrating.
- Xerostamia or dry mouth is another condition which is caused by a reduced flow of saliva in the mouth caused by diabetes. This further leads to mouth ulcers, infections, soreness and tooth decay.
- A fungal infection known as thrush occurs in the mouth. The condition causes white patches in the mouth that have the possibility of turning into an ulcer or sore. This can attack the tongue and cause difficulties in tasting and swallowing.
- The healing rate of the oral tissues is slowed down terribly. This causes the recovery rate from oral surgeries and other dental procedures in diabetic people to slow down miserably.
Early signs of gum disease
- The gums bleed when brushing or flossing
- Tender, red and swollen gums
- Receding gums
- Presence of pus between the gums and teeth when pressed
- Loose permanent teeth moving from each other
- Bad breath
- Changes in the way the dentures or bridges fit
- Changes in the way the teeth fit when biting
Tips to prevent dental problems that come along with diabetes and oral health maintenance
- Managing the blood sugar level efficiently and keeping it in check.
- Taking good care of the teeth and gums by brushing twice a day for two minutes coupled with flossing.
- If one wears dentures, it is important to remove them and clean them every day.
- Visiting the dentist regularly is crucial.
- Professional teeth cleanings twice a year are a must thing to go for.
- Smoking diabetic people are 20 times more likely to be at a greater risk in developing periodontal disease than non-smokers.