Diabetes affects the blood vessels and nerves. Consequently, this will cause problems in any part of the body including the mouth. Gum Disease is the most common oral health problem affecting those with Diabetes. There are many other issues that show up with Diabetic Oral health problems.
First, the Diabetic patient may see Oral Infections: Signs of an infection in your mouth will show up in different ways. Pus, Swelling, pain in the mouth, pain in sinus area, pain when chewing are all be signs of infection. Red or white patches may also be seen. Bleeding is also a common sign of gum infection.
Next, we notice Fungal Infections: People with diabetes and those who frequently take antibiotics are more prone to developing oral thrush. This is a fungal infection. Symptoms of this include redness or bleeding in the mouth. A bitter taste may be noticed. White patches are seen on the inside of the lips, cheeks, tongue or back of the mouth. There can be pain in the back of the mouth or throat. Thrush is treated with anti-fungal medications.
Thirdly, a Dry Mouth: Do you have a dry mouth? This is caused either by medications being taken away for diabetes or by high blood sugar. Dry mouth increases your risk for many other oral health problems. Cavities, ulcers, infections can come from dry mouth complications. If you have a dry mouth, try drinking more fluids or chewing sugar free gum to keep your saliva flowing. Dry mouth saliva substitutes are available in your Pharmacy. Your Pharmacist will be able to give you a few options.
Lastly, but most commonly noticed is Gingivitis and Periodontal Disease: Very commonly Diabetic Patients see bleeding gums which is an early warning sign of periodontal disease. Gum disease shows up first with bleeding noticed and your hygienist may notice this when cleaning your teeth. Gingivitis is reversible. The next phase is actual bone loss which is permanent. Tooth loss is imminent if not treated. Seeing your Dentist for regular check ups and cleanings is imperative!