The diabetes epidemic in the United States is one that seemingly increases every year. Nearly 10% of the population has diabetes, and approximately 1.7 million people are diagnosed annually. Many individuals have diabetes, and don’t know it.
The food you eat is turned to sugar and used for energy. Diabetes prohibits your body from processing that sugar. Both Type I and Type II diabetes result in high blood sugar levels, which can affect other parts of your body. In this blog, we’ll discuss oral symptoms of diabetes and why people who have diabetes are more susceptible to gum disease.
Oral Symptoms of Diabetes
If left untreated, diabetes can start to wreak havoc on your mouth… some of the oral symptoms are:
- Dry mouth – Mouth sores and/or cracked lips
- Bad breath – Gum disease
- Inflamed and bleeding gums - Gingivitis
- Sore white or red patches on your tongue – Fungus (yeast) overgrowth
- Chronic infection between teeth and gums – Periodontitis
- Oral burning – Burning in the mouth because of uncontrolled blood glucose levels
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, do not automatically assume you have diabetes. It’s very important to receive attention from a medical professional so you can resolve the issue.
Why are People with Gum Disease at a Higher Risk?
Periodontal disease affects nearly 22% of people who are diagnosed with diabetes. Lack of blood sugar control increases the odds of having gum problems. As is the case with all infections, severe gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes difficult to regulate because there is a greater chance of an infection and it makes fighting bacteria a greater challenge.
Your Dentist Can Help!
Studies show that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar levels in patients living with diabetes, preventing progression of the disease. Taking the necessary steps to maintain a clean and healthy mouth can help you lower your HbA1c. This includes brushing twice daily, flossing once every day and visiting your dentist every six months for a deep clean.
Whether you’re experiencing any oral discomfort or simply need to schedule your six month appointment, don’t hesitate to give Arnold Dentistry a call!
Source: Mouth Healthy, ADA.org