The connection between diabetes and oral health

High blood sugar has a relation with oral health issues. Oral health conditions are more likely to occur if you regulate your blood sugar poorly. This is because uncontrolled diabetes affects white blood cells, which are your body's primary defense against bacterial infections in the mouth.

Dr. Kartik Poonja Created on 23th Apr, 21

Many people in Vashi, Navi Mumbai, have diabetes accompanied by dental issues. They visit their dental clinic in Navi Mumbai to solve their dental issues. So, what is the relation between diabetes and oral health?

 

High blood sugar has a relation with your oral health issues. Oral health conditions are more likely to occur if you regulate your blood sugar poorly. This is because uncontrolled diabetes affects white blood cells, which are your body's primary defense against bacterial infections in the mouth.

 

Which oral health issues are linked to diabetes?

Diabetic people are at a greater risk of:

 

  • Dry mouth

 

Uncontrolled diabetes will trigger dry mouth by reducing saliva flow. You might also have soreness, ulcers, bacteria, and tooth loss because of dry mouth.

 

  • Gum inflammation (gingivitis) and periodontitis

 

Diabetes not only weakens white blood cells but also causes your blood vessels to thicken. The supply of nutrients and waste products from your body tissues, including your mouth, is slowed down. 

 

When this sequence of events occurs, your body's ability to resist infections is compromised. People with uncontrolled diabetes may suffer more severe and extreme gum diseases.

 

  • Poor oral tissue healing

 

People with uncontrolled diabetes have a harder time healing from dental treatments. It occurs because the blood flow to the treated site is compromised.

 

  • Thrush

 

People with diabetes who take antibiotics frequently to treat various infections are more likely to develop a fungal infection of the tongue or mouth. The fungus thrives in individuals with untreated diabetes and those who have elevated glucose levels in their saliva. Dentures can also cause fungal infections, particularly if they are worn all the time.

 

How do I keep my mouth healthy if I have diabetes?

Since people with diabetes are more susceptible to complications that can affect their oral health, it is essential to follow proper oral hygiene. You should also pay close attention to your oral health. Contact your dentist as soon as possible if you feel any pain or sensation in your teeth.

 

We have mentioned some suggestions below for preventing or reducing oral health problems:

 

  • Maintain your blood sugar level

 

Learn about your glycosylated hemoglobin (HgA1C) level; for example, a less than 7% level indicates good control. If you have had a low blood sugar episode (also known as an insulin reaction) before, you are more likely to have another one. Tell your dentist about your most recent episode, how much it happens, and when you last took an insulin dose.

 

  • See a doctor before beginning periodontal disease treatment

 

Request that your diabetic doctor consults with your dentist or periodontist for your oral wellbeing. When you have oral surgery, the doctor or dentist will inform you if you need to take some antibiotics before the procedure, change the food schedule, or adjust the duration and dosage of your insulin.

 

  • Make a list of all the medications you are taking

 

Create a list of all your medications, including their names and dosages, and bring it to your dentist. Your dentist would require this detail for him or her to administer medications that are least likely to interact with the ones you are currently taking. If you are treating a major oral condition, your insulin dosage might have to be changed.

 

Some other oral hygiene tips for diabetic people

  • Visit your dentist to have your teeth and gums cleaned and examined. Consult your dentist and decide how many check-ups you would need in a year.

 

  • Use dental floss at least once a day to prevent plaque accumulation on your teeth.

 

  • After each meal, brush your teeth. Use a toothbrush with a smooth bristle.

 

  • If you have dentures, take them out and disinfect them every day.

 

  • If you smoke, speak with the doctor about quitting.

 

Fortunately, if you have diabetes practicing good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice daily with a toothpaste with fluoride and flossing can greatly reduce the chances of infections. Also, you should remember to keep your blood sugar under control to prevent tooth loss.