November is almost over, but there’s still time to talk about diabetes, since it is the National Diabetes Awareness month. The risk diabetes brings to one’s body is broadly known, but we very rarely talk about the risk diabetes brings to your mouth health – and they can be very dangerous.
Data is impressive: according to MouthHealth.org, one in five cases of total tooth loss is linked to diabetes. The good news, though, is that you can prevent having this kind of problem even if you have diabetes. Flossing, brushing, controlling your blood sugar and visiting your dentist regularly can go a long way to help decrease the likelihood developing these diabetes-related mouth issues. Keep reading to know more about those issues and how to deal with them.
If you notice some bleeding when you brush or floss, be aware that this can be a sign of gum disease. Early gum disease can be reversed with proper brushing, flossing and diet. And you’ll want to take care of it, because if it becomes more severe, the bone that supports your teeth can break down, leading to tooth loss.
Studies show that people with diabetes have less saliva, being naturally extra thirsty. Make sure to drink lots of water – the saliva is produced to protect your teeth, and when there’s a lack of it, water should take this role. Sugarless gum can also be useful, since it stimulates the saliva production. But again, make sure it is sugarless, because the combination of sugar and dry mouth can easily lead to cavities.
Change in taste
People with diabetes often report a change in the taste of some foods. Although it can be disappointing, you can take the opportunity to change the recipe a little, adding new and different flavors. Just make sure not to add too much sugar to your food in an effort to add flavor.
One of the systems affected by diabetes is the immune system, what leaves you more vulnerable to infections. The most common one is a yeast infection called oral thrush (candidiasis). The yeast thrive on the higher amount of sugar found in saliva, resulting in a white layer coating your tongue and the insides of your cheeks. If you suspect you have this kind of infection, you should see your dentist to make sure it’s properly treated.
Have you ever noticed a cold sore or a cut in your mouth that doesn’t quite seem to go away? This can be another way diabetes is affecting your mouth. That happens because poor control of blood sugar can keep injuries from healing quickly and properly. See your dentist if you think that might be happening with you.
If you need to take care of any of these issues, contact us to schedule an appointment!