Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated blood glucose or blood sugar levels. Diabetes, over time, may cause damage to other parts of the body including the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, nerves, and oral health. Diabetic people are at higher risk of developing tooth problems if their blood sugar is not managed well. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about 422 million people have diabetes worldwide and it is directly linked to annual 1.5 million deaths. Diabetes and bad oral health have a bidirectional relationship, where poorly managed diabetes increases the risk of oral health problems, and poor oral health makes diabetes harder to control. This is because diabetes lowers the resistance to infections and delays recovery/healing.
People living with diabetes need to pay peculiar attention to their oral health along with managing blood glucose levels. Early signs of dental problems due to unmanaged diabetes include mouth such as dry mouth, persistent bad breath, bleeding gums, etc.
How diabetes affects your mouth
- Taste disturbances & mouth ulcers: Diabetes may make it harder to properly taste your food and increase the likelihood of small cuts or sores inside your mouth will become infected.
- Dry mouth: Irregular or unmanaged glucose level reduces saliva flow which results in a dry mouth. Dry mouth in turn may lead to bad breath, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
- Gum disease/periodontal disease: People with diabetes frequently feel irritated and sensitive teeth. Daily brushing and flossing result in bleeding. Basically, diabetes causes the weakening of white blood cells; this complication causes blood vessels to thicken. Thick blood vessels slow the flow of nutrients and waste from body tissues. When this complication occurs frequently it reduces the ability of the body to fight against infections. Since gum infections, gingivitis, and periodontitis are caused by bacteria and diabetic people have weak immunity and slow healing subsequently such individuals often experience more frequent and severe gum disease.
- Poor healing: people with unmanaged diabetes have poor healing of wounds and the same is the case if they undergo oral surgery or dental procedures. Since the healing is slow and immunity is lower, such people also have a higher risk of getting infections.
- Fungal infections/ Oral Thrush: Oral thrush is a fungal infection caused by an overgrowth of Candida albicans. The fungus grows on high glucose levels in the saliva of people with irregular diabetes, moreover, their lower resistance to infections causes severity. Also, if dentures are worn constantly it also promotes fungal infections. Fungal infections/thrush also cause ulcerated red or white patches in the mouth, burning mouth, or tongue.
- Tooth decay: dry mouth and more glucose in the saliva of diabetic people may lead to more cavities and tooth decay. People with diabetes lose their teeth more often and sooner than people without diabetes. This is mainly because of periodontal diseases which lead to bone and teeth loss.
Practicing good oral hygiene and managing glucose levels are the keys to preventing severe dental problems.
You must follow the below good oral hygiene practices which may help greatly in eliminating the risk of dental problems.
- Use your medication to manage your blood sugar level.
- Eat healthy which helps in managing diabetes and maintaining oral health.
- Gentle brushing and flossing at least two times a day after a meal.
- Use soft bristles toothbrush as it is more gentle on gums.
- Use of fluoride toothpaste.
- Clean dentures
- Avoid tobacco-containing products.
- Visit your dentist and general physician
Health & Hygiene Ltd. has developed a range of Protector® Antiviral & Antibacterial Toothbrushes that prevent exposure to viruses, bacteria, and other microbes. Diabetes reduces immunity, poor healing, and makes a diabetic patient prone to getting infections easily.
Protector® Toothbrushes reduce exposure to microbes. Its antiviral and antibacterial features keep viruses, bacteria, fungi, and other microbes away thus helping to maintain good oral hygiene and reducing the chances of getting infections. Which in turn may help to maintain blood sugar levels.
Moreover, its specially shaped head effectively cleans the hard-to-reach parts of the mouth consequently reducing the growth of bacteria and fungus. Therefore, reducing the chances of oral bacterial and fungal infections.
Furthermore, its soft bristles are antimicrobial and gentle on teeth and gums, cleaning efficiently. Last but not least the rare earth magnet is embedded in the head of Protector® Premium Toothbrushes, which improves the microcirculation and helps to sort out gingivitis, thus may help in preventing periodontal disease to an advanced level.
Protector® helps in maintaining good oral hygiene and preventing dental problems.