Diabetes Mellitus, also called diabetes, is the result of a high amount of sugar in the bloodstream. Insulin, the hormone the pancreas produces, is designed to control the blood sugar, but diabetes causes the body to become insulin resistant or not produce enough of it – sometimes, both!
What Are Some Oral Health Problems People Can Suffer With From Untreated Diabetes
There are all kinds of warning signs for diabetes such as excessive thirst, constant need to urinate, lethargy and unexplained weight loss and the effects of unchecked diabetes can take a real toll on the human body.
All too often, people forget that their oral health is also affected by their “body health.” That means untreated diabetes, even after diagnosis, can cause an array of health problems for your mouth. What are some oral health problems that you could experience with untreated diabetes?
1.Dry Mouth and Cavities
Your mouth may not have the saliva it needs to stay wet, which makes it feel dry. (Yes, some medications will also cause dry mouth.) A lack of sufficient saliva can also lead to cavities because your teeth are not protected from food particles and other substances. Dry mouth can also lead to ulcers and tooth decay.
Diabetics often suffer from gum disease known as gingivitis, which is identified by the red, bleeding and sore gums. They are caused by the plethora of bacteria in the mouth thanks to the sugar that’s converted into acid that damages the teeth. Since your mouth doesn’t have a sufficient amount of saliva to wash them away, the bacteria can accumulate. This will cause gum disease and tooth decay.
A way to keep this from happening is to brush and floss regularly, use an antiseptic mouthwash to swish in your mouth and control your diabetes.
Diabetics are at an increased risk of infections including infections in their mouth. When most people think of infections in the mouth, they think of bacteria. However, fungi (think fungal yeast infection like thrush) love to feed on sugar – a condition that many uncontrollable diabetes sufferers can experience.
Thrush will cause red or white patches on the tongue and the cheeks, leading to open sores if not addressed right away. If you smoke, take antibiotics or use dentures, you increase the chances of having this condition. While thrush is the most common fungal infection, it’s not the only oral fungal disease you need to be aware of. Yeast is all about dark, hidden spots in the mouth, which is why it’s so important to get control over your diabetes.
This is an infection that affects the teeth’s supporting structures – bone ligaments, for example. If you don’t control your diabetes, it can lead to gum infections that may cause early teeth loss. Uncontrolled diabetes can also lead to a rise in advanced glycation end product production, which means the collagen can’t accumulate and leads to gum abscess.