Being diabetic comes with numerous changes. Your diet is one of the critical things you have to control. Eating certain foods can spike your blood sugars significantly, leading to numerous complications across your body, including your teeth and gums. The good news is that controlling your diabetes will keep your mouth and entire body healthy and free of complications.
Usually, diabetes happens when your blood sugars or glucose rise too high. Consequently, the high glucose levels in your body can increase the number of sugars in your saliva. It can encourage an overgrowth of the harmful bacteria in the mouth, increasing your cavities and gum disease risk. Fortunately, regular brushing and flossing can protect you from these issues.
Similarly, diabetes can affect your mouth by changing your saliva flow. Diabetes and some medications can trigger the salivary glands to produce less saliva. Enough saliva is essential to keep your mouth moist and wash away food debris and bacteria.
When saliva flow is less, your risk of cavities, gum disease, and other oral issues increases; remember, untreated mouth problems can lead to complications like tooth loss, loose teeth, jawbone damage, and cancers. It will also likely make your diabetes worse.
When you have diabetes, your risk of developing dental complications is higher than someone without diabetes. Common emergency issues to watch out for include:
As we’ve seen above, having diabetes leads to decreased saliva production and flow. Consequently, this increases your risk of dry mouth, also known as xerostomia. The side effects of a dry mouth include bad breath, sores, ulcers, tooth decay, and gum disease. Avoiding sugary items and hydrating well can prevent and eliminate dry mouth.
A fungal yeast infection, also called thrush, is a common complication in diabetics. You’re at a higher risk of developing oral thrush if you smoke, take antibiotics, or wear dentures. Since diabetes increases your blood sugars, it can increase the sugars in your saliva and reduce your saliva flow, leading to an overgrowth of yeast. Thrush will likely cause red and white patches on your tongue and cheeks. Sometimes they can turn into open sores.
You’re at a higher risk of developing burning mouth syndrome from having a dry mouth, thrush, and certain medications. Your mouth will likely tingle, feel numb, or lose your ability to taste.
Diabetes slows down your body’s natural ability to heal. If you’ve undergone an oral procedure like tooth extraction, gum surgery, or dental implants, you may notice that your wounds take longer to heal. It can increase your risk of after-surgery complications like infections and severe pain, swelling, and bleeding. It will also take longer to recover from oral issues like gum disease.
Visit your doctor or contact our dentist in Newburyport, MA, if you have any dental complications discussed above. They will help you manage your diabetes and oral issues and restore your health.
Fortunately, there’s something you can do to prevent or manage diabetic dental emergencies, including:
For more information about diabetic dental emergencies in Newburyport, MA, contact Newburyport Family Dental.