Diabetes is a growing challenge in India with an estimated 8.7% diabetic population in the age group of 20 and 70 years. The rising prevalence is driven by a combination of factors like rapid urbanization, sedentary lifestyles, unhealthy diets, tobacco use, and increasing life expectancy.
Diabetes can lead to changes in the oral cavity especially gum related problems. Diabetics who have irregular blood glucose levels have a higher risk of tooth problems and gum disease than people without diabetes. This is because they have lowered resistance to infection and may not heal as easily. Other diabetes-related oral conditions include tooth decay, oral thrush, and other tooth related problems. Some individuals may notice a fruity (acetone) breathe and others report dry mouth.
Unfortunately, concern for the oral cavity is often overlooked when trying to control other problems associated with diabetes which may contribute to hidden morbidity and undue suffering from oral health problems.
So Much in Common: Gum disease, diabetes … and you!
- Gum disease is caused due to accumulation of bacteria on teeth. Periodontal (gum) disease can alter your glucose metabolism even if you are not diabetic.
- Experts believe this could lead to prediabetes in which blood glucose levels are higher than normal, but not high enough to be diagnosed as diabetes. Prediabetes can be a precursor to Type 2 diabetes.
- The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes has been studied extensively. Each arrives without any symptoms, is chronic and has been associated with chronic inflammation.
- Diabetics with gum disease have more difficulty in controlling blood glucose levels.
How Diabetes Affects Oral Health
The increased blood glucose level in diabetics results in the increase in glucose level in saliva leading to an alteration in the pH of saliva and thereby a reduction in salivary flow, which makes our mouth a favorable environment for bacterial and fungal infections, leading to dental problems
Common Oral Problems Seen in Diabetics
- Gum Disease (Periodontitis) – Occurs when tartar builds up and contributes to infections deep in the gums leading to mild-moderate-severe gum problems. Severe gum disease caused loss of teeth and can increase the risk for other serious health problems, like a heart attack or stroke.
- Oral Thrush -Causes uncomfortable creamy white patches in the mouth or small white cracks at the corners of the mouth.
- Dry Mouth -Causes soreness, ulcers, infections, and cavities. Dry mouth may also be caused by medicines taken for high blood pressure, depression, or other health problems.
What Are Warning Signs of Oral Health Problems Related to Diabetes?
- Red, swollen, or tender gums or other pain in your mouth
- Bleeding while brushing, flossing, or eating
- Loose or separating teeth
- Sores in your mouth
- Bad breadth, bad taste in mouth, or loss of taste
- White patches in the mouth
- A sticky, dry feeling in the mouth
Are These Problems Treatable?
- YES! Gum disease can easily be controlled and/or prevented. A simple tooth cleaning is the first step towards good gum health. Some with more advanced gum disease may require additional treatment to achieve good gum health.
- A medicated mouthwash, gel, or oral antibiotics may be required in specific conditions
- The Dentist will work with the patients to develop a diet and other habits that help them improve their oral hygiene measures.
How can you prevent Gum Disease and other oral problems in Diabetics?
- Partnership with your diabetologist to keep blood sugar level under control.
- Ensure good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and getting regular dental check-ups/professional cleaning twice a year. Your dentist can also help you with suggestions for the use of other oral aids such as inter-dental brushes or water flosser to help maintain your oral hygiene
- Quit smoking and tobacco use.
- If you wear removable dentures, Removing and cleaning dentures daily is mandatory
Dr.Smilez Dental Centers is celebrating World Diabetes Awareness Month and we are happy to provide dental consultation and full mouth cleaning for Rs 500 only till December 15th 2018.
You can book an appointment here. Please mention the code DIA500 in your appointment form