Can Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

When you suffer from diabetes it is important to know that it can have an impact on your long-term oral health. Especially if your diabetes is uncontrolled. Higher risk of infection, reduced blood supply and gum disease are all common issues for diabetic patients. Therefore, it is important to understand the exact nature of diabetes and how it can have an impact on your oral health over long periods. Which you can then use to better care for both your overall and oral health. 

What is Diabetes? 

Diabetes is a condition that develops when there is too much glucose (sugar) in your system. It is a lifelong condition. It can develop in two forms; type 1 and type 2 diabetes. This is where immune system either destroys insulin in your system or the body simply has not produced enough insulin. The majority of sufferers in the UK (around 90%) suffer from type 2 diabetes. It is a manageable disease, relying on exercise, healthy diets and regular blood testing to ensure optimum glucose levels. 

Research has been carried out which indicates a higher chance of developing gum disease as a diabetes sufferer. As such, managing both your long-term overall health as a diabetic should include a careful managing of your oral health as well. Our Hygienists may request blood tests to be taken by your GP if we suspect any gum problems that could be related to uncontrolled diabetes. 

Diabetes Effect on Oral Health

Diabetes can actually cause several issues for your mouth if you suffer from the condition. All of which can contribute or worsen your oral health over time. Some of these issues include: 

  • Dry Mouth: when your saliva glands fail to produce the correct level of saliva, it can lead to a condition known as xerostomia. This is a dry mouth, which can also be inflamed or sore over the period. It can severely impact your ability to eat and can be uncomfortable. 
  • Infection: reduced saliva levels and increased sugars can lead to increased chances of fungal infections in your mouth as a diabetic. 
  • Burning: as the name suggests, burning mouth syndrome is where you can feel a consistent burning feeling your mouth but there is no discernible cause. It is common in diabetics. 
  • Surgery Complications: poorly managed diabetes can be a setback should you require oral surgery. Especially as it can impact your rate of healing and make it more likely for you to develop an infection. For that reason, being fully forthcoming about your condition is vital prior to any potential oral surgery. 

Keep Your Dentist Up to Date

Medical conditions such as diabetes should always be communicated to your dentist at the earliest opportunity. This way, your dental check-ups and overall care routine can be tailored to your exact needs. Through this your oral and overall health can be checked and kept in balance in a way that suits you. 

Book an Appointment Today 

Are you a recently diagnosed diabetic and unsure about your future oral hygiene needs? Or are you a diabetic who is considering potential cosmetic treatments–such as dental implants–which involve surgery?

Visit Dental Solutions and our team of professionals can help to both manage and alleviate any fear you have regarding your condition and potential dental complications. Simply book an appointment now or contact our reception team for further information on 01925 756565


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