It’s important for diabetics to control blood sugar levels because high blood sugar can raise the risk of these oral complications:
• Gum disease often occurs at a younger age in diabetics and can lead to redness, bleeding and swelling in the gums, mouth pain, loose teeth, persistent bad breath or difficulty chewing.
• Cavities may be caused by high blood sugar in saliva, which feeds the bacteria that cause tooth decay.
• Dry mouth is one of the most frequent oral health issues for diabetics. Decreased saliva causes dryness in the mouth. Combined with high sugar, it may lead to cavities. The lack of moisture in the mouth can also make saliva thick and stringy, which can cause difficulty swallowing.
• Oral lesions and infections are also sometimes present in diabetics. The most common is thrush — a yeast infection that produces sore white or red patches.
• Problems tasting food, as diabetics are more prone to taste disorders, which can also be caused by medicine used to treat diabetes.
• Painful burning or tingling sensations in the mouth, known as burning mouth syndrome, which is linked to poorly controlled blood sugar levels.