Diabetes and oral health
Diabetes is a result of a chronic condition in the body where the formation of insulin is disrupted, and the level of glucose in the blood increases. The sugar is not processed and the body is deprived of the energy that comes from starch and carbohydrates. An abnormally high blood sugar level gives rise to other physiological problems and even organ disorders.
People with diabetes are more susceptible to developing oral problems and infections because a high blood sugar level lowers the resistance against diseases and infections. Further, the gum problems, like gingivitis and periodontal disease, makes it tougher to control the blood sugar level. Thus, the patients get trapped in the vicious circle of diabetes and the accompanying oral infections. Some of the most common oral problems affecting diabetic patients are-
- Dry mouth because of insufficient saliva: This condition is medically known as xerostomia. The salivary glands are unable to produce the required amount of saliva, causing problems with tasting and eating.
- Ulcers inside mouth: A dry mouth, low resistance against infection, and high level of sugar in the saliva can lead to ulcers inside the mouth.
- Inflammation of gums (Gingivitis): The gums swell and become red as the bacterial infection sinks in. Gingivitis is the stage prior to the periodontal disease, whereby, gums grow weak and eventually decay.
- Disease of gums (Periodontal): It is a bacterial infection of the gums. The infection leads to gradual weakening of the structure holding the teeth. The body’s resistance to periodontal disease causes an increment in the blood sugar level thus aggravating the diabetic state.
- Tooth decay and formation of cavities: The root cause of this is again less amount of saliva which leads to a dry mouth. Also, there is a high presence of sugar in the limited saliva. A bacterial film called plaque is formed over the teeth and surrounding region causing decay of the teeth. To combat this situation dentists prescribe the use of a fluoride enriched toothpaste.
- Fungal infections such as thrush: The fungus Candida albicans causes this infection due to insufficient salivation. The inside of the mouth usually appears sore white or red. Diabetic patients retain a higher risk of this infection because of too much sugar in their saliva.
- Oral lichen planus affecting mucous membranes inside mouth: Diabetes has a strong impact on the oral cavity health. It leads to tissue inflammation and causes a lot of discomforts.
- Difficulty in the tasting: Owing to the above-mentioned causes, a person faces difficulty in eating, chewing, swallowing and even tasting. Under these circumstances, one must visit the dentist without further delay.
DENTAL VISITS & MEDICAL CHECK-UP
A strict routine of dental visits can improve your oral problems. By maintaining oral hygiene and getting mouth cleansing done by professionals, can help you stay ahead in the game. By treating the gum disease, you can control your blood sugar level as well. Your dentist and physician must work in sync to prevent any oral infections. According to the severity of the problem, your doctor can prescribe the medications or suggest some major test or surgery.
Early intervention and a regular preventive care can save you from an adverse oral situation. A proper medical check-up can help you stay healthy and informed. For a diabetic patient, a routine check-up is of prime importance. You can get your tests done at India’s largest Diagnostic Centre & Pathology Lab- Apollo Diagnostics. To get your appointment click here.