Oral Health Problems and Diabetes – According To (ADA)

Oral Health Problems and Diabetes

The connection that exists between diabetics as well as oral health problems, is the issue of high blood sugar. If blood sugar is not managed, oral health problems tend to occur. Because uncontrolled diabetes affects white blood cells, they serve as the body’s primary defense against infections with bacteria that may occur in the mouth.

As research has shown that controlling blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of severe complications to the organs of diabetes like eye and heart damage, so could diabetes help prevent the growth of oral health problems.

How can diabetes cause oral health problems?

Diabetes can affect your mouth by changing the composition of your saliva–the fluid that keeps your mouth moist. Saliva can prevent tooth decay by removing pieces of food, stopping the bacteria from expanding, and fighting the acidity produced by bacteria. It also contains minerals that aid in protecting the oral tissues and combat tooth decay.

The effects of diabetes and certain medications that treat diabetes could cause salivary glands inside your mouth to produce less saliva. When saliva production is reduced, it is more likely that you will develop dental decay, gum disease, and other dental issues increases.

Diabetes may also cause an increase in the amount of glucose found in the saliva. The signs of diabetes are when your blood glucose levels, also known as blood sugar, are excessively high. The high glucose levels in the blood could result in the accumulation of glucose within your saliva. This glucose could feed harmful bacteria, which mix with food and create the soft, sticky layer known as plaque, which can cause cavities. If you do not remove plaque, it could be deposited in your teeth at the gum line and eventually harden into a tartar-like deposit that can lead to gum disease.

Diabetes and gum disease

Periodontal disease occurs when the bone supporting and surrounding your teeth is damaged. This bone allows you to chew comfortably by securing your teeth in your jawbone. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and food debris, known as dental plaque.

Plaque can harden to form tartar or calculus if it remains on the teeth and gums. Plaque and calculus can irritate the gums surrounding teeth, making them bleed reddish and swollen. Gum disease can also cause damage to the bone underneath, eventually leading to loss. The tooth may become loose and fall out on its own or require removal.

People with low blood sugar levels are more likely to develop gum disease. They are more susceptible to infection and have a lower healing ability.

To prevent gum disease, taking care of your oral health and your blood sugar levels is essential. Gum disease can be treated to lower blood sugar levels for people with diabetes. People with high blood glucose levels respond well to dental treatment.

What oral health problems are associated with diabetes?

If you suffer from type 1 or 2 diabetes controlling your blood sugar levels is crucial. The more high your blood sugar levels are, the higher your risk of:

Gum Disease

Gum diseases also referred to as periodontal diseases, refer to the infection of the tissues that support teeth like the gums and bone. This causes inflammation and, in the final stages of illness, the breakdown of these structures. This results in gum recession, loss of bone, and tooth mobility.

For those with constantly elevated blood glucose levels, the likelihood of developing severe gum disease is incredibly higher. This is a bi-directional relationship which means that poor gum health can result in more complex control of blood sugar levels. So, by ensuring good dental health, diabetes can be better controlled and reversed!

Gum Inflammation

The longer the plaque builds up, the more inflamed and irritated your gingiva, which is the area of your gum at the base of your teeth. Gingivitis could develop from gum inflammation and plaque build-up. If untreated, gingivitis may lead to Periodontal Disease. This could cause your teeth to shift or lead you to lose your teeth.

Sense of taste

While the cause is still unknown, there appears to be a link between diabetes (or hypoglycemia) and changes in taste sense. This could lead to hypogeusia or reduced taste perception. It can also affect your diet. Although diabetes and oral health are often discussed, managing your sugar levels is essential to avoid complications. Maintaining optimal gum health will also aid in diabetic control.

Dry mouth

Diabetes can cause the flow of saliva to be reduced and, consequently, dry mouth. The problem with the salivary gland could be related to sialadenosis, a form of swelling in the salivary glands. A decrease in saliva may increase the chance of tooth decay and oral thrush.

Saliva can protect to guard against the decay of teeth. The decrease in saliva flow and a greater likelihood of developing gum disease could further increase the chance of tooth decay. Since gum disease can cause gum receding, it can expose the tooth’s root. The tooth’s root isn’t covered with an enamel layer that protects it, making it more susceptible to decay. One of the leading causes of diabetes control issues is a diet high in sugar like tooth decay. Thus, it is crucial to monitor blood sugar levels to prevent tooth decay.


As we’ve mentioned, people with diabetes are more likely to get infections. There are many other organisms found in the mouth that could cause harm. Fungal yeast infections, such as the thrush, can also be found in people with diabetes who aren’t controlled. Thrush can result in red or painful patches on the tongue or inside your mouth, which could develop into sores. The condition is also prevalent when you wear dental appliances like dentures.

Poor healing of oral tissues

People with diabetes who are not controlled cannot heal rapidly following dental surgery or other procedures because it can damage blood flow to the treatment area.

Tooth decay (cavities)

Your mouth naturally has various kinds of bacteria. When sugars and starches found in beverages and foods are in contact with the bacteria, and impervious film known as plaque develops around your teeth. The acidic substances in plaque damage the teeth’s surfaces (enamel and dentin). This can cause cavities or gum disease.

The more blood sugar levels you have, the more you’ll get of starches and sugars, as well as the more significant amount of acid is wearing away at your teeth.

Why People with Diabetes Are More Prone to Gum Disease?

There are more bacteria in our mouths than people on the planet. Periodontal disease can develop if they make their home inside your gums. Chronic, inflammatory diseases can cause damage to your gums, tissues, and even your bones.

Periodontal disease, which affects nearly 22% of diabetics, is the most common type of dental disease. Poor blood sugar control is a significant risk factor for gum problems, especially as we age. Poor blood sugar control can increase the risk of gum problems in people with diabetes. As with all infections and severe gum disease, blood sugar can rise. Diabetes can be more challenging to manage because of the increased risk of infection and decreased ability to fight bacteria.

Diabetes and common oral health problems

People with diabetes are most likely to have these oral health problems:

  • gum disease.
  • Abscesses of the gum.
  • mouth ulcers.
  • tooth decay.
  • lichen planus (an inflammatory, autoimmune skin condition).
  • Low saliva levels can cause a dry, irritated mouth..
  • Fungal infections such as candidiasis (also known as thrush) are common.
  • taste disturbances.

Types of diabetes

The effect of diabetes on your body depends on the type of diabetes you suffer from. Two significant kinds are affected by diabetes. The type 1 and type 2.

Type 1: Also known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is an immune system illness. Your body’s immune system attacks the insulin-producing cells of the pancreas, which destroys your body’s ability to make insulin. If you have type 1 diabetes, you must take insulin to live. Most people get their diagnosis in the early years of childhood or as an adult.

Type 2: is connected to insulin resistance. It was previously seen in older people, but today, more people of a younger age are experiencing the symptoms of Type 2 Diabetes. It’s due to certain lifestyles, diets, and exercise practices.

When you have type 2 diabetes, the pancreas ceases to produce insulin efficiently. This can cause problems withdrawing sugar from the blood and then putting it into cells to provide energy. This can eventually cause the requirement for insulin medication.

It is possible to effectively control earlier stages of prediabetes by consuming a balanced diet, regular exercise, and careful monitoring of blood sugar levels. This will also help to prevent the development of type 2 diabetes.

It is possible to manage Diabetes. Sometimes, it is possible to be cured if lifestyle changes are implemented.

Gestational Diabetes is a condition of high blood sugar levels triggered during pregnancy. The majority of the time, you can control gestational diabetes by eating a balanced eating a healthy diet and exercising. The condition usually resolves when the baby is born.

Can I do a root canal with high diabetes?

Absolutely. There is no danger or risk when undergoing root canal treatments for those who have Diabetes.
Root canal treatment is a non-surgical procedure in which the blood isn’t touched during treatment.

Can Diabetes Cause Tooth Loss?

The loss of teeth and diabetes are also linked, although in an indirect manner. As a result of the two diseases, diabetes can hinder gum tissue from recovering from inflammation and healing itself. The chronic inflammation caused by gum disease causes damage to gums and bones. This could cause a gingival recession, bone loss, and teeth loss.

What can you do to combat these symptoms?

The blood glucose levels must remain within a healthy group – can accomplish this by abstaining from a high-sugar diet. Frequent sips of water and chewing gum will help combat dry mouth. If you are using dentures, they must be cleaned every night and left to dry overnight. It is crucial to brush twice daily, and cleaning between teeth at night and regular visits to the dentist is essential for diabetic patients who are more at risk of having oral health problems.

How to lower your risk of oral health problems

Practicing regular dental hygiene is the most effective option to avoid these oral health problems. With the assistance of your dentist or your doctor, you can follow these steps to enhance your health and manage the effects of diabetes:

  1. Commit to controlling your diabetes. Check your blood sugar level and follow the healthcare provider’s instructions to keep your blood sugar levels within your target range. The better control over diabetes and blood sugar, the better you will have less chance of developing these dental health conditions.
  2. Make sure to brush your teeth at least twice daily for two minutes each morning and evening. If you can, brush your teeth between meals and snack time also. Use a soft-bristled brush with a gentle circular motion to your gum line and teeth. Make sure to replace your toothbrush every three months. Make sure to floss your teeth at least once every day to eliminate any leftover food particles and plaque from between your teeth and the gum line.
  3. Visit your dentist twice yearly for professional dental cleanings, x-rays, and examinations. Be sure to inform your dentist that you have diabetes and remind your dentist every time you see them. You should also report any early indications of gum inflammation, tooth loss, pain, or other unusual symptoms.
  4. Bring to your dentist a list of the names and dosages for every medication you take. Your dentist needs to be aware of this information to recommend medicines that are least likely to affect your current medications. If an infection of a significant nature is being treated, your insulin dose (for people taking insulin) could require adjustment.
  5. Don’t smoke cigarettes. Smoking increases the chance of developing severe complications from diabetes which include gum disease and, eventually, the loss of teeth. If you smoke, talk to your physician about ways to assist you in quitting.

The management of diabetes is a lifetime commitment that includes regular dental hygiene. Your efforts will pay off with a lifetime of healthy gums and teeth.

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