Diabetes and Oral Health- Lesser Known Facts

diabetes and oral health

14th November is celebrated as World Diabetes Day.

2019, Theme of World Diabetes Day is “Family and Diabetes”

This indicates a bidirectional association of the patient supporting the family and the family supporting the patient; the for.per to prevent diabetes in the first degree relative in the family and latter to remind the patient to perform home blood glucose monitoring, periodic lab investigations and to meet the diabetes care team at the periodic interval.

Diabetes is a chronic disease. Two conditions which may put you at the risk of Diabetes are when the pancreas is no able to make insulin and when the body cannot make good use of Insulin it, produces. Insulin hormone is made by pancreas which functions to regulate blood sugar levels of the body.

However, when the body is not able to produce or use Insulin effectively, glucose levels shoots up in the body. Over the time period unmonitored glucose levels can cause damage to the body and failure of various organs and tissues.

There are three types of Diabetes:

Type 1 Diabetes

This type of diabetes is found in children, also known as juvenile- onset diabetes. It is caused due to autoimmunity, where body’s defense system attacks the cells which produce insulin.

Type 2

This type of Diabetes occurs in the adult population and called as Adult onset Diabetes. About 90% of cases of diabetes belong to this category, where the insulin secretion is either deficient or the body becomes resistant to the insulin actions.

Type 3

Gestational Diabetes: High glucose levels in the pregnancy, usually normalise postpartum. However, kids born to the mother with gestational diabetes are at the higher risk of Type 2 Diabetes letter in the life.

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.

What puts you at the risk of Diabetes

  • Family history
  • Overweight
  • Unhealthy diet
  • Physical inactivity
  • Increasing age
  • High Blood pressure
  • Ethnicity
  • Impaired glucose tolerance
  • History of gestational diabetes
  • Poor nutrition during pregnancy

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

  • Choose water, coffee or tea instead of fruit juice, soda, or other sugar sweetened beverages.
  • Have at least 3 servings of vegetables every day
  • Eat up to 3 service of fresh fruit everyday
  • Go for nuts, a piece of fresh fruit or unsweetened yogurt for a snack
  • Limit alcohol intake to a maximum of 2 standard drinks per day
  • Opt for lean cuts of white meat, poultry or sea food instead of red or processed foods.
  • Peanut butter instead of jam and chocospread is better.
  • Have whole grain bread, rice, pasta Instead of white bread, rice or pasta
  • Use unsaturated fats such as Olive oil, canola oil, corn oil,or sunflower oil instead of saturated fats such as butter, ghee, animal fat or palm oil.

4. Avoid Smoking

5. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene

  •  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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