Diabetes mellitus is currently one of the most frequent chronic diseases; For this reason, it is important to know the most relevant oral changes. We know that it can affect many parts of the body, and that includes the teeth and gums. The effects increase when sugar levels are not well controlled.
People with diabetes have a higher rate of gum disorders, usually because they are more susceptible to developing bacterial infections and less able to fight them.
In our Santident clinics, located in different areas of Valencia, we help diabetic patients to prevent oral problems caused by this disease. The main conditions that people with diabetes usually face in terms of oral health are detailed below.
Oral problems in diabetic patients
Gingivitis and periodontitis: Gingivitis is the accumulation of plaque, a layer of bacteria that develops continuously above, around and between the teeth, especially in areas difficult to access. These bacteria irritate the gums and can cause inflammation. Periodontitis is a more advanced stage of gingivitis which, when not treated in time, can cause tooth loss.
Dryness: diabetes can also be linked to dry mouth, called xerostomia. The lack or decrease of saliva is an important problem because it performs important functions such as lubricating the lips and buccal mucosa and eliminating food waste, favouring oral hygiene.
Oral candidiasis: diabetics can also develop a fungal infection called oral candidiasis. It develops when a high presence of glucose in the blood triggers the fluctuation of the pH level, promoting the uncontrolled growth of the fungus Candida. It appears as whitish plaques around the mouth that produce pain.
Canker sores or ulcers: high levels of blood sugar can also cause the appearance of a bad taste in the mouth or ulcers, mainly on the inside of the cheeks and lips, as well as on the tongue, palate and base of the gums
Advice for people with diabetes.
These oral problems can be prevented by applying a series of oral hygiene techniques. Having a mouth in perfect condition is very important, especially for people with diabetes. Here are some tips:
Control the level of glucose in your blood.
Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Use a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
Use dental floss at least once a day to eliminate the remains of food that accumulate between teeth.
Try using an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day to control bacterial plaque.
The professionals at Santident Dental Clinic recommend that patients with diabetes go to the dentist every six months for professional cleaning or to detect any oral problem that may worsen.