Your mouth can tell a lot about you—if you’re happy, if you’re sad and even if you have diabetes. That’s right. Although oral health is not the first thing you think of when you hear the word diabetes, your teeth and gums can actually give us clues that you have the disease.
Periodontal Disease: If you have diabetes, you are three times more likely to have gum disease than patients who don’t. It begins as gingivitis but will progress to periodontitis if you aren’t able to get your blood sugar under control.
Dry Mouth: One of the primary symptoms of diabetes is frequent urination. One of the consequences of this is that you become dehydrated more quickly. When you are dehydrated you aren’t able to properly produce enough saliva and this causes your mouth to become noticeably drier.
Oral Thrush: Many people have a naturally occurring fungus known as Candida albicans quietly dwelling in their oral cavity until blood sugar levels increase. The higher sugar content in the saliva is the perfect food to allow Candida albicans to takeover and cause a yeast infection known as oral thrush in your mouth. Thrush appears as cottage cheese-like lesions in your mouth combined with redness and soreness that make it difficult to swallow.
Mouth Pain: An unpleasant and prolonged burning sensation in your mouth could be a result of neuropathy associated with diabetes. Frequent mouth ulcers, herpes outbreaks and serial dental abscesses are other clues that you may be diabetic.
If you have been diagnosed with diabetes or are experiencing oral health symptoms associated with diabetes, it’s important to have regular periodontal checkups to protect your teeth and gums. Because gums are a specialty, we can easily spot minor changes that a regular dentist might not be able to see. When problems are spotted early, we can prevent further damage as well as tooth and bone loss. Schedule an oral health evaluation today to learn more.