Diabetes is a risky disease. High concentrations of sugar in the blood cause many problems in the body and affect the normal functioning of all organs. One of the organs that suffer from high blood sugar is the mouth. People with diabetes are more prone to periodontal disease and bleeding gums due to high blood sugar, and gum disease also leads to high blood sugar. If you are struggling with diabetes, fighting for infection elimination, especially oral infections, must be demanding for you. The most severe and difficult gum disease is called periodontitis.
Keep in touch with StrAIberry to know about the dental problems that are associated with diabetes.
Diabetes is a long-standing chronic disease that affects the process of converting food to energy in the body. Most of the food you eat changes into sugar in the body, which is scientifically known as glucose, and this sugar enters the bloodstream. When blood sugar levels rise, signals are sent to the pancreas to release insulin. Insulin acts as a key to transporting sugar from the blood to cells to use for energy production.
If you have diabetes, your body either does not produce insulin or cannot use enough of it. If there is not enough insulin or the cells cannot respond, the blood sugar level rises. If this condition persists, it can cause serious health problems such as heart disease, vision loss, and kidney problems. There is currently no cure for diabetes, but losing weight, keeping a healthy diet, and staying active can go a long way. If you have the disease, medication, diabetes care training, and regular, scheduled visits to your doctor’s office can alleviate the effects of the disease on your life.
Types of diabetes
There are three main types of diabetes: type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes.
- Type 1 diabetes
Type 1 diabetes appears to be caused by an autoimmune reaction in which the body attacks its cells and stops producing insulin. About 5 to 10 percent of people with diabetes have type 1 diabetes. The symptoms of type 1 diabetes often manifest themselves quickly and are commonly diagnosed in children, teenagers, and young adults. The way to deal with this type of diabetes is to take insulin daily.
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- Type 2 diabetes
If you have type 2 diabetes, your body cannot use insulin to maintain normal blood sugar levels. Approximately 90 to 95% of people with diabetes have type 2 diabetes. The disease develops over time and usually occurs in adolescents. You may not notice it, so if you are at risk for it, it is best to get your blood sugar checked regularly. People can prevent type 2 diabetes by having a healthy lifestyle such as losing weight, eating healthy food, and exercising.
- Gestational Diabetes
This type of diabetes occurs in pregnant women who have not had the disease before. If you have gestational diabetes, your baby may be at higher risk for the disease. Gestational diabetes usually resolves after childbirth but increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in the future. In this case, your child is more prone to childhood and adolescence obesity and type 2 diabetes.
Is there a link between gum disease and diabetes?
Many millions of people with diabetes are surprised to learn about the side effects of their problem. Research shows that people with diabetes are more likely to have gum disease. You should also add gum disease to your list of side effects of diabetes, such as heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. New research shows that the link between diabetes and gum disease is a two-way street. Not only are people with diabetes at serious risk for gum disease, but blood glucose may be elevated in people with gum disease, and diabetes may develop as they progress.
Research shows that people with diabetes are more at risk for oral problems and diseases such as gingivitis (early stages of gum disease) and periodontitis (serious and severe gum disease). People with diabetes are more prone to gum disease because they are generally more susceptible to bacterial infections, and the body cannot fight the infections properly. The most severe type of gum disease is periodontitis.
When gum disease reaches this stage, the teeth loosen, and you may lose them. The sacs formed between the teeth and the gums are filled with germs and advance into the gums. In this case, you will need gum surgery to protect your teeth. When surgery is not done in case it is needed, the infection may progress and destroy your jaw bone, which provides the condition for tooth fall out.
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Some other oral problems associated with diabetes
Thrush: An infection that causes fungal infections of the mouth. Thrush appears as a growth that can look like cottage cheese – white raised lesions on your tongue and cheeks. The condition can quickly become irritated and cause mouth pain and redness.
- Dry mouth
One of the main symptoms of diabetes is dry mouth and a constant feeling of thirst. This is certainly an annoying problem that can lead to even more severe oral problems. Diabetes reduces the production of saliva, makes your teeth more vulnerable to decay, and can also increase the risk of gum disease. Saliva cleans plaque and food left on the teeth, so the less saliva there is in your mouth, the more likely it is that plaque will form and food will stay on the teeth.
- Aphthous ulcer
Canker sores also called aphthous ulcers, are small, shallow lesions that develop on the soft tissues in your mouth or at the base of your gums. Unlike cold sores, canker sores don’t occur on the surface of your lips and they aren’t contagious. They can be painful, however, and can make eating and talking difficult.
- Tooth Decay
Tooth decay is damage to a tooth’s surface or enamel. It happens when bacteria in your mouth make acids that attack the enamel. Tooth decay can lead to cavities (dental caries), which are holes in your teeth. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.
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To prevent dental problems, follow these tips
- See a dentist right away when you think you have a problem with your teeth
- Always keep your blood sugar within the recommended range
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day
- Floss once a day, floss between your teeth, and avoid pulling on the gums
- Examine areas of the gums that are red or painful
- Dry mouth caused by diabetes is exacerbated by caffeine, tobacco, and alcohol consumption. Eating spicy and salty food aggravates dry mouth. Avoid this food to inhibit this situation.
How can I prevent diabetes-related dental problems?
The first and most important task is to control blood glucose levels. Manage your diabetes well to control thrush and fungal infections. Avoid smoking. If you use dentures, remove and clean them daily. Controlling blood glucose levels can also help prevent dry mouth caused by diabetes. See your dentist every six months to prevent dental problems. Remind your dentist that you have diabetes before you start. Many dental treatments affect blood sugar levels.
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StrAIberry is a dental care application that uses AI and machine learning for dental care practices and checkups. You can benefit from its free checkups including teeth whitening, toothache and tooth sensitivity, problems with previous treatments, and regular checkups. With the StrAIberry app, you can set reminders for brushing, whitening, and checkups. Therefore, you can reduce the possibility of dental problems to a minimum.