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If your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth. The good news is you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. By controlling your blood glucose, brushing and flossing every day, and visiting a dentist regularly, you can help prevent serious problems in your mouth.
The Symptoms of Untreated Diabetes
The warning signs of diabetes affect every part of your body. After a blood test, you may be told by a doctor that you have high blood sugar. You may feel excessively thirsty or have to urinate a lot. Weight loss and fatigue are other common symptoms. Diabetes can also cause you to lose consciousness if your blood sugar falls too low.
If diabetes is left untreated, it can take a toll on your mouth as well. Here's how:
- You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry. (Dry mouth is also caused by certain medications.)
- Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.
- Gums may become inflamed and bleed often (gingivitis).
- You may have problems tasting food.
- You may experience delayed wound healing.
- You may be susceptible to infections inside of your mouth.
- For children with diabetes, teeth may erupt at an age earlier than is typical.
Diabetes is a chronic, systemic disease and affects all parts of the body. While its effect on the nerves, eyes, kidneys, and skin is more common, their oral effects are less known. However, diabetes will vouch how they lost tooth and have dry mouth after their sugars went out of control.
- Oral Symptoms in Diabetics: There is a strong correlation between oral health and poorly controlled blood sugars. Some of the common oral indications of diabetes are as follows.
- Dry Mouth: There is less amount of saliva, which brings with it a whole lot of symptoms including soreness of the mucosa, ulcers, increased chances of infection, gum inflammation and tooth decay.
- Thrush: The saliva has higher sugar levels and attracts fungus (Candida in particular) which thrives in this dry, sugary environment. This produces a burning sensation in the mouth.
- Periodontal Disease: The gums get severely infected with gingival recession, where the gum line recedes exposing more of the tooth (tooth length seems to have increased). There is “pocket” formation, or space between the tooth and the gum which hosts a variety of bacteria. The periodontal ligament loses its strength to hold the tooth in place, and thereby teeth become mobile. If not worked upon in time, there could be multiple teeth lost.
Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Gum Disease
All people have more tiny bacteria living in their mouth now than there are people on this planet. If they make their home in your gums, you can end up with periodontal disease. This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones.
Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed. Especially with increasing age, poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. In fact, people with diabetes are at a higher risk for gum problems because of poor blood sugar control. As with all infections, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise. This makes diabetes harder to control because you are more susceptible to infections and are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.
As much as it sounds alarming, it is not. There are easy, simple ways to manage these. In fact, good overall management of diabetes will ensure the oral symptoms are also maintained under control. Following are some things to do which will help in managing diabetes in general and the oral symptoms in particular:
As soon as diabetes is diagnosed, visit a dentist to take stock of the oral health condition. Any identified problem should be treated to avoid progression.
- Keep a close watch to ensure blood sugar remains as close to normal as possible.
- Switch to a toothbrush with soft or extra-soft bristles. This will help reduce the pressure on the gums and thereby prevent gum bleeding
- After every meal, remember to brush the teeth.
- Flossing at least once a day will help remove food deposits between the teeth. Alternately, use interdental brushes.
- Rinse at least twice daily using an antiseptic mouthwash.
- Denture-wearers should always clean them daily and never go to sleep with the denture in the mouth.
- Smoking with diabetics is a strict no-no, work on quitting at the earliest.
- Visit a dentist every 3 months to ensure oral issues are identified at the earliest and treatment done with minimal intervention.
- Any dental procedure should be done only when sugar levels are under control.
Managing diabetes is a lifelong commitment, and that includes proper dental care. Your efforts will be rewarded with a lifetime of healthy teeth and gums. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a Dentist.
I brush twice a day but still my teeth not getting whiten so say some natural methods to get whiten.
I am suffering from mouth disease. My mouth is not opening properly due to chewing pan masala. I was chewing pan masala since 6 years. So that I am suffering from this problem. Now a days I stopped chewing pan masala. But still it doesn't open properly when I tried to open it start pain at the outer of the mouth. And also consult how to clean my teeth and make it healthy.
I am 35 years old, my problem is I am suffering from last 1 year teeth pain, when I eat hard food like any chocolate and any fruits and ice cream also and some times I eat meat that time suppose one bone pieces comes in between teeth, touch pain I can't say please give me advise what I should do? Thank you.
I am a male of 26 years, 2 years ago I have had a major accident that resulted in multiple facial fractures, dislocation of the mandibular condyle and severe facial deformity. 1st surgery was a failure and I couldn't even eat for some months ,so we opted for the 2nd one and it is a partial success because it only corrected my dental fractures so that I could eat well but my major concern is my facial profile. I'm very much depressed regarding it, Is there any chance that my mandibular condyle can be corrected and relocated so that my facial profile is restored to the previous state.
Sir my mouth is not open properly causes chewing gutkha. Sir give me some advise for my biggest problem I want to came out from this. I can contact with uu. Please help. Me.
I am 38 year old having toothache in the wisdom teeth for last week. And also there is severe pain on chewing the food. Also there is sensitivity to hot stuff. Would you suggest some treatment.
In the bottom from row three teeth have become mobile. Unable to extract them and fix fresh teeth there as dentists fear of bleeding in extraction. I had bleeding problem long time ago, but th lab has cleared the same. But still dentists do not want to experiment due to my age i. E. 84 years. please suggest.?
I have bruxism (grinding teeth during sleep) since childhood. I am 27 now. Is it a psychological disorder? If yes is there any remedy for it.
My jaws are having a clicking sound. This was not before. It has started suddenly. There is no pain but the click sound is clearly heard.
If you are constantly engaged in sports related activities, always wear a mouthguard to protect your mouth and orthodontic appliances while the treatment is going on.
My teeth are soo week it was brokening and it is decaying so how can I reduce by these two problems.
Last year i met with an accident & the lower jaw of my mouth was 85% fractured. The doctor operated & insert a metal plate with the fractured jaw. My problem is now the teeth connected with fractured jaw got weak & create eating problem but no pain in jaw. What should i do so my eating problem be solved?
I have a black stone on my 50% of teeth. The stone is in front of all teeth at the end what should I do for this please help me
There is always the constant attempt to look better and more appealing. To this effect, smile designing is one particular specialty of cosmetic dentistry with the sole aim of improving a person's smile.
Photographs of various angles, jaw tracing analysis, and simulation of images on the computer are all used to arrive at an optimal size, shape, contour of the jaw and the teeth that can produce the best smile for a given patient. These changes are then replicated on paper and tooth models if required and detailed discussion happen with the patient. Thorough patient counseling is done before initiating work at smile designing.
Some parameters that are manipulated to produce a good smile designing are as follows - first the tooth per se followed by the soft tissues:
- Tooth color: In most cases, the tooth color is changed using tooth whitening material or laser. Trust the dentist to achieve a balance between whiteness of the tooth and natural look. In some cases, silver amalgam fillings may be replaced with composite restorations to improve the appearance. Bridges with metal backup may be replaced with complete ceramic crowns too.
- Tooth alignment: Crooked or misshaped teeth can be corrected using veneers in minor cases and by orthodontic braces in severe cases. Again, if the patient is very conscious, aesthetic ceramic braces (read more about braces) can be used.
- Tooth length: If too much or too less of a tooth is showing during a smile, that needs to be corrected too. Longer teeth are considered to produce a younger appearance than short teeth, which usually is associated with old age and wear and tear. The gums can be reshaped as a part of crown lengthening.
- Missing teeth: Teeth that are missing produce a very bad smile and need to be replaced at the earliest for a better smile. Depending on various factors including age and bone health, the choice could be a crown or a bridge or an implant.
- Tooth ratio: When a person smiles, the front tooth are the most obvious and should have a ratio of length to width as 4 to 5. This produces a balanced smile.
- Tooth texture: Mottling or rough edges on the tooth surface can be corrected by veneers or small composite restorations. As regards the soft tissues.
- Gum line: The smile is reproduced on tracing and corrections are made to produce a better smile, even if it requires gum corrections.
- Fuller lips and cheeks: Surgical procedures or chemicals may be used to produce fuller lips and cheeks that improve a person's smile.
The next time you are not happy with your smile, visit a dentist. With so many parameters that affect your smile, a little correction could produce a better smile! If you wish to discuss about any specific dental problem, you can consult a specilized dentist and ask a free question.