Diabetes and Oral Health- Lesser Known Facts

diabetes and oral health

14th November is celebrated as World Diabetes Day. A number of diabetic patients are rapidly rising all over the globe at an alarming rate. A few decades ago what was thought as a mid disorder of elderly people, now has been turned into one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality affecting the youth and middle-aged people. The International Diabetes Federation (IDF) estimates the total number of diabetic patients shall rise to 69.9 million by the year 2025.

Diabetes and Overall Health

Diabetes is a life long, slow-moving disease which is characterized by increase Glucose level in blood. Insulin is a hormone secreted in our body to regulate blood sugar levels. Dysfunction of insulin hormone, also known as insulin resistance can keep your blood sugars raised ( Prediabetic stage).

Diabetes affects each and every organ of body latter or sooner. It is basically a syndrome array of complications as it manifests. Be it eyes (vision loss), kidney, nerves, foot and skin (Diabetic foot ulcers, foot amputation), heart (myocardial infarction, stroke and cardiovascular disease).

So, does Diabetes affect oral region too? Yes, Diabetes does not spare the oral cavity too. Chances are you may not aware of Diabetes, a non-healing ulcer for a long time may make your diagnosis of Diabetes.  Let’s have a look how your Diabetes going to affect your oral health.

Two-way relationship: Diabetes affect oral health and poor oral health may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and give to the progression of diabetes.

How does Diabetes affect Oral Health?

  • Increased chances of gum diseases (red, swollen, pus oozing) and dental decay
  • Raised chances of Tooth loss due to a bone infection
  • Dry Mouth (Medications and higher blood sugar levels are also causes.)
  • Alteration in taste sensations.
  • Cracked lips, oral ulcers, dry and rough tongue, painful mouth,
  • Difficulty in chewing, eating, swallowing, or talking
  • Bad breath that doesn’t go away when you brush your teeth
  • Sore, or an ulcer, that does not heal
  • Increased risk of Infections due to poor immunity most common is the yeast infection called oral thrush (candidiasis).
  • Slow or poor healing
  • Changes in jaw bone denture may not fit
  • Diabetic children have been found to erupt teeth at an age earlier than is typical.

Complications during Dental Treatment 

Most of the time complication associated with two things: uncontrolled diabetes you didn’t give a proper history of Diabetes or medicines to your dentist.

1. Excessive Bleeding and Poor Healing
Poor control of blood sugar can keep injuries from healing quickly and properly. You can have an extraction socket which is not healing even after a long time.

2. Infected Wounds 
Uncontrolled diabetes and poor or delayed healing may raise the chances of infection.

Oral Health-Related things you can do to for Optimal Wellness

1. Be Compliant with your Dentist 

  • Provide a proper history of disease to  your dentist
  • Keep him informed of any changes in your condition and any medication.
  • Your dentist, if not an ultimate necessity, shall postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.
  • Reach on time in early morning. Eat before your dental visit so your blood sugar is within normal range.
  • Take your usual medications.

2. Control your Blood Sugar Levels
Good blood sugar control will also help your body fight any bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and help relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.

3. Exercise Regularly and opt for Healthy Diet

4. Avoid Smoking

5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

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  •  Brush twice a day for two minutes with a soft toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
  • Clean or floss between teeth once a day to remove food and plaque.
  • Clean or scrape the tongue daily.
  • Only use mouth rinses with alcohol when recommended by a dental professional.
  • If you wear any type of denture, clean it each day.


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