Diabetic related health problems can occur in your mouth. Understand what to look for and how to help prevent oral health issues if you have diabetes.

November 4, 2019.TruAssure.0 Likes.0 Comments

Diabetic related health problems can occur in your mouth. Understand what to look for and how to help prevent oral health issues if you have diabetes.

Diabetes affects more than 30 million people in the United States and one in four of them do not know they have it.1 It affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin, a hormone that allows your body to turn sugar into energy. Excess sugar in your blood can lead to health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, kidney disease and oral health issues.

Oral health problems associated with diabetes.

Diabetics are more likely to experience gum disease at an earlier age than those who do not have the disease. Periodontal disease can also change blood glucose levels, making diabetes more difficult to manage. Understand how too much blood sugar can cause pain and infections in your mouth causing problems for your:

  • Teeth. Due to high sugar or glucose blood levels, harmful bacteria can grow which can cause bad breath and also cause a soft, sticky film called plaque to build up. Tooth decay and cavities can occur from the bad bacteria. When plaque covers teeth and is not properly removed, it hardens and becomes tartar. Often appearing at the gum line, tartar causes difficulty in thoroughly brushing and cleaning between your teeth. This can lead to periodontal or gum disease.
  • Gums. Gum disease occurs when your gums become red, swollen and often bleed easily. Also called periodontitis, the gums begin to pull away from the teeth, causing pockets or gaps. Bacteria grow in these gaps and below the gum line causing an infection which can break down the bone and tissue that hold teeth in place and affect your jaw. Tooth loss can occur as well as your jaw can change shape from the loss of bone or teeth, causing problems in chewing.
  • Tissues. The soft tissues in your mouth may be affected by diabetes, include your tongue, roof and bottom of your mouth and the inside of your cheeks. People with diabetes are more susceptible to a dry mouth from a lack of saliva. Symptoms of dry mouth include pain or problems with cracked lips, a rough tongue and difficulty in chewing, eating, swallowing or talking. Mouth infections can show up as white sores or red patches on the tissues of your mouth.

Prevention

Taking care of your teeth and gums is vitally important when you have diabetes. Brushing twice and flossing daily with a fluoride toothpaste and using a mouthwash is essential to combat the harmful bacteria and remove plaque. Additional dental cleanings, more than twice a year, can have an impact on your health and can even help to control blood glucose levels. TruAssure offers enhanced benefits that allow for extra cleanings for individuals who have diabetes, are pregnant or are receiving radiation – see if your plan includes this coverage. Ask your dentist if you would benefit from more frequent cleanings. Find a network dentist.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html

 

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