Diabetes is a condition caused by too much of glucose in the blood. In this condition, either body does not produce insulin or cells do not respond properly to the insulin that produced by the pancreas. Nearly 347 million people worldwide have diabetes, and the number is still growing. Studies proved that people with insufficient blood glucose control seem to develop oral disease more often than people who have good control over their diabetes.
Uncontrolled diabetes can put a person under a higher risk of developing gum disease and tooth problems / infections. It affects both type one and type two diabetic patients. White blood cells in the blood, defend the body against bacterial infections and foreign materials. Poorly controlled sugar disease impairs white blood cells, and hence diabetic patients are more susceptible tooth and gum infections
People with poorly controlled diabetes are at high risk of the following problems:
Dry Mouth - Dry mouth is one of the key symptoms of diabetes. Saliva plays an important role in the mouth by neutralizing acid around teeth and gums and controlling levels of bacteria. Higher glucose level in the blood can decrease saliva flow and results in dry mouth. It leads to tooth infections and mouth ulcers.
Gingivitis - Studies have shown that people with insufficient blood sugar control can develop Gingivitis very often. Due to uncontrolled diabetes, more plaque builds up on the teeth. Without proper dental care, it hardens under the gum line into a substance called tartar. Unclean plaque and tartar irritate gums around teeth. Due to this, gums get swollen and bleed easily.
Thrush - It is the growth of a naturally occurring fungus. Its indications include red patches on the gums, cheeks or the roof of your mouth.
People with diabetes are more prone to conditions that may affect their oral health. It is essential to pay special attention to any changes in their mouth. For any signs of gum disease like redness, swelling or bleeding gums, consult a dentist. A diabetic patient should check his blood /urine sugar level at prescribed intervals. It is essential to follow physician's advice and keep the blood glucose level under control.
A diabetic patient should pay special attention to brush his teeth twice a day. Always use a soft bristled brush. After every meal, rinse and clean the mouth. It is necessary to floss regularly, which helps to remove plaque between teeth and gum. Flossing in addition to tooth brushing reduces oral problems compared to tooth brushing alone. Patients wearing dentures should clean it every day. Once in a year, do professional dental cleanings.
It is advisable to use mouth wash at regular decreases bacteria that cause plaque and other gum diseases. Avoid smoking cigarettes. Smoking can increase the risk of diabetes related oral complications, including oral/gum infections.
Please note that, poorly controlled diabetes is the main cause for developing gum disease. By keeping blood glucose level under target range, a diabetic patient would be rewarded with healthy teeth and gums. With proper diabetes management, one can lead a healthy life. The more you control, less likely you are to develop dental problems.