Diabetes and Oral Health
Did you know that there are oral symptoms that can be an indicator of diabetes? Studies have shown that 30% of people with diabetes don’t know they have this disease. Undiagnosed diabetes can lead to a high blood sugar and this will not only affect your heart, blood vessels, eyes and kidneys, but also the health of your mouth.
You may have Diabetes if you have:
- Bad breath (halitosis) – while there are a number of causes of bad breath, most people don’t consider diabetes as one of them. A person with diabetes may also have fruity smelling breath, which could be a signal that the body is struggling to use glucose for energy and instead begins to burn fat. This leads to an accumulation of ketones (also appearing in urine) – dangerous chemical substances – and that you may require medical assessment and urgent treatment.
- Excessive thirst (polydipsia) and dry mouth (xerostomia) – as the kidneys struggle to filter and absorb the excess sugar it is excreted into your urine. This process takes fluids from other tissues, leading to more frequent urination, which can leave you dehydrated, potentially leading to dry mouth.
HOW do you know if you have a ‘dry mouth’? Some indications are: needing water several times a night; needing water to eat meals; stopping on car trips because you are really thirty.
- Extra cavities in places that you have never had them before―especially on the root surfaces of teeth, especially lower front teeth. These are caused by a very dry mouth (see above)
- Red, swollen and tender gums – along with an increased susceptibility to oral infection due to dry mouth, diabetes can also weaken your ability to fight germs. This can result in gums pulling away from the teeth, teeth becoming loose, or the development of sores or pockets of pus in the gums.
Diabetes slows down your healing ability. That’s why it can cause trouble for gum health, and why it might show up in your mouth first.
If you think any of these things might be happening to you, come in an see us here at Moss Vale Dental. Patrick, Magdalena and Miree are here to help. We always take your concerns seriously, and we can advise on the possible causes of your symptoms and work with you to help get your oral health back on track. Give our team a call today to schedule your appointment on (02) 4869 3111.