Diabetes is among the most common illness millions of people across the world suffer from. About 29.1 million people alone suffer from diabetes in the United States which accounts for about 9.3% of the total population. Diabetes, although does not seem like a threatening disease, is a chronic illness that has various ways in which it affects people. Diabetes harms the immune system in the body and makes it harder for recovery after even the smallest of wounds.
Diabetes affects your body`s ability to process the sugar and convert it into energy required for bodily functions. In case of people suffering from type I diabetes, the body is low on insulin levels which are required for transporting sugar to cells which reduces sugar to energy whereas in Type II the body does not respond to the insulin. In both of these cases kidneys, liver, nerves, eyes, heart and various other parts of your body also face problems. In fact, diabetes teeth and gum problems might be a demon to your beautiful smile too as it can affect your dental health.
Gestational Diabetes and Oral Health
Our mouth is the house for a number of bacteria that are essential for processing the food that we consume before we swallow. It has various other functions which makes it an important part of our body’s system. But like any other system, a certain level of balance in all the components is important for smooth functioning. Too many bacteria starting to reside on the gums is the reason behind periodontal diseases where we observe symptoms such as inflammation in the gum, bleeding, etc. These diseases can be very harmful to the gums, the inner tissues and in extreme case even the underlying bone structure.
In fact, certain researches also suggest that the relationship between gum diseases and diabetes, in fact, is a two-way stream wherein either of them can become the cause or trigger or the other way around. Some studies suggested that people suffering from gum diseases indicated a fluctuation in blood glucose levels and this could suggest a progression of diabetes. In fact, people suffering from diabetes are more susceptible to gum infections such as gingivitis because the body is low on immunity to fight against the bacterias that settle in the gum which are the cause behind these diseases. The lower resistance to disease and decreased healing ability both contribute to increased risk of gum-related diseases in case of diabetic patients.
Increased glucose levels in the body mean that their saliva also contains high levels of sugar. Diabetic patients also suffer from a low amount of saliva in their mouth which causes dry mouth. The conditions also promote the growth of plaque which leads to tooth decay. A fungal infection called Thrush is yet another common disease often diagnosed in people suffering from diabetes which is caused by a yeast called Candida Albicans.
Diabetes Mouth Symptoms to Watch Out for
For diabetic patients, the best way to avoid having to suffer from oral health problems is to take up healthy practices that will ensure there are no risks of such infections. In case you notice one or more of the below mentioned symptoms, consult and dentist and begin treatment for the same.
1. Swollen or bleeding gums
2. Discharge from gums
3. Bad breath or bad taste
4. Loose gums that are pulling away from the teeth
5. A spacing opening between your teeth
6. Loose teeth
Here are 4 simple ways of treating oral health problems for people suffering from diabetes. It can also help you take good care of your dental health so as to ensure a beautiful smile.
1. Control your blood sugar levels: While it is important to take the recommended medications prescribed for your diagnosis, the best way to keep your glucose levels in check is to start with a healthy lifestyle. Switch to health food habits like including oatmeals, multigrain recipe and make exercise a part of your regular schedule. For a sweet tooth, instead of having a piece of cake go for a healthier option such as cranberry almond granola recipe.
If the sugar levels are balanced in the body then the risk of exposure to bacteria and fungal infections also decreases significantly. Also keeping a check on your diabetes ensures the various organs in your body are not damaged and your immune system is not heavily affected. Artificial sweeteners can be a good alternative although reducing overall sugar consumption can be good for the body.
2. Simple ways to treat dryness: Apart from being an uncomfortable experience having a dry mouth means that the risk of infection increases. Bring this to the notice of your doctor during your regular visits and look for suggestions that might help you cope with the same. Apart from this, you can also try simple ways of coping with it at home such as enjoying a sip of water often throughout the day. You can also look for lubricating gel or saliva replacements or use mints with xylitol [sugar-free or with artificial sweeteners] to use. Choose soft textured food over rough textures.
3.Yeast infection treatments: You will require a dosage of antifungal medicine to treat as well as eradicate the infection from your mouth. These medications could be in the form of liquids to squish in your mouth or lozenges. Diabetic patients should ensure that oral preparations contain low or no sugar or look for alternatives with artificial sweetener substitutes to avoid recurring infections.
4. Treating gum bleeding or inflammation: Consult your doctor for the right medications to ensure the inflammation or bleeding during mastication reduces. You can combine these medications with doses of herbal supplements such as ginkgo biloba which magnify the effect of blood anticoagulants and thinners.
Maintain good regular oral hygiene by brushing, flossing and go for regular cleaning and check-ups to ensure there are no serious problems building up. Share your diabetic history with your doctor to narrow down on the right procedures such as IV sedation supported with intraosseous infusion which might be necessary for certain conditions.
Ross is a blogger who loves to write especially in the Health vertical. He has written many informative Blogs. He has also written blogs in other verticals too like personal development, unique gifting blogs.
I am Holly, a 26-year-old health, and fitness instructor from San Jose, CA, who writes articles in her free time. When she isn't helping new moms get back in shape, you can find her in the kitchen, working on new recipes. Follow Holly.. @hollymsanchez