Diabetes mellitus is a chronic disease that arises when the blood glucose level in the body is too high. Blood glucose is the main energy source in our body; insulin is a hormone that controls this level. When you contract diabetes, your body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use the already existing insulin to its full potential.
Unfortunately, the mouth and teeth are not immune to such problems. People with diabetes are at a greater risk of contracting oral diseases and cavities. But this goes undiagnosed in most diabetic people and is not found until the situation gets complicated.
Symptoms to Look Out for
Be sure to visit your dentist if you have any of these symptoms:
- Gum appears swollen and bleeds while brushing or flossing
- Less saliva formation causes dryness
- White patches
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Infections take longer to heal
Types Of Diabetes And Their Connection to Dental Health
Type 1 Diabetes
In this type, the body is unable to produce insulin. The immune system attacks and destroys the cells in the pancreas, which produce insulin. Although it can appear in people of any age, type 1 diabetes is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. If you have Type 1 diabetes patients are more prone to gum diseases, tooth loss, and thrush.
Type 2 Diabetes
Type 2 diabetes occurs when the body cannot use the insulin produced in the body, and sugar builds up in the blood. It is mostly seen in elderly and middle-aged people. This variety can largely occur due to excess body weight and physical inactivity. Similar to Type 1 diabetes patients, Type 2 diabetes can also cause severe gum diseases like periodontitis.
Common Dental Issues in Diabetes Patients
People with uncontrolled diabetes are prone to gingivitis and periodontal diseases. Persistent infection can spread and harm the underlying bone in the gum, which holds the tooth in place.
However, this can be controlled with good oral hygiene habits:
- Make it a habit to regularly brush two times a day with toothpaste with fluoride content.
- Flossing daily,
- Keeping blood sugar levels in control,
- Visiting the dentist for regular check-ups. Do not forget to remind him about your diabetes, and talk about other problems which you might be facing,
- Quitting the habit of smoking, be it regular cigarettes or e-cigs.
For more advice on oral health and hygiene, book an appointment with Dr. Jeanne V. Devi, DDS. Call us at (626) 795-2544 or visit our website for more details and scheduling appointments. We are located at 595 E Colorado Blvd Suite 603, Pasadena, CA 91101.