Your oral health can tell you if you may be suffering from diabetes

Did you know that the condition of your oral health can signal the prevalence of diabetes? Read on to know more, and find out how to take care.
diabetes reversal
Keeping a check on your diabetes levels is important. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Team Health Shots Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 01:54 pm IST
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Here’s some sweet information for you, ladies! The state of your oral health can be indicative of diabetes, and understanding the association between the two can help reduce risk for both diseases with simultaneous care, say experts.

Dental complications are one of the important complications of diabetes.

Dr Rajeev Chawla, Senior Consultant Diabetologist, and Dr Rachna Chawla, Senior Dental and Implant Surgeon, North Delhi Diabetes Centre, Rohini, New Delhi, take us through the relation.

Oral hygiene is very important for overall well-being. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
What is diabetes:

When the body is unable to produce enough insulin or utilize insulin, sugar levels rise in the bloodstream. This condition is known as diabetes, and it manifests as hyperglycemia. Diabetes many a times remains silent, as it is generally discovered only in ancillary medical examinations.

Also Read: Your ready to use guide on dos and don’ts of type 2 diabetes

What is periodontitis

Periodontitis is a chronic and preventable oral disease caused by bacteria that can lead to tooth decay and eventual tooth loss. Periodontal inflammation is now known to worsen blood glucose levels in people with diabetes, among other complications.

Diabetes and periodontitis are associated comorbidities, sharing common pathways of origin and having a bidirectional link. Periodontal therapy improves metabolic and glycemic control in people with diabetes. Vice-versa, good glycemic control reduces the risk of periodontal disease and further deterioration.

10 oral health signs to watch out for to discover and address diabetes:

1. Keep teeth clean: It is vital to brush them twice a day to make sure that the gingival margins and tooth socket remain healthy to avoid any oral or glycemic complications.

2. Address any oral inflammation immediately with your dentist. It can be indicative of uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

Any pain or inflammation must be a cause for concern. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

3. The level of inflammation is important, as it can indicate the severity of the condition in the onset of periodontitis. Your dentist can use techniques such as Bleeding on probing (BOP) to check the extent of periodontal damage.

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4. If you experience any or frequent bleeding while brushing your teeth, you should immediately consult a dental surgeon for treatment, to avoid oral or ancillary complications.

5. You need to be wary of any cavitation around teeth. It can be the onset of periodontitis. Uncontrolled diabetes can make this condition deteriorate further to cause tooth loss.

6. You should periodically check for any change in the colour and texture of gums. Any redness or swelling could be the onset of oral diseases because of uncontrolled glycemic levels.

7. If you experience sores or dry mouth, it is possible that it is because of reduced production of saliva, it can be an indicator of uncontrolled blood sugar.

8. Regular screening and monitoring of blood sugar levels is important in making sure that both the conditions are in control.

Learn how to manage your oral health especially if you have diabetes. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

9. Monitoring is vital because if you already have diabetes, inter-professional collaborations between dentists and diabetologists on a case-to-case basis is imperative to have a customized and optimum care plan.

10. If patients are discovered with both complications, collaboration between physicians and dental surgeons becomes even more important to alter medication or dosage in tandem to achieve optimum treatment results.

Good oral hygiene doesn’t just keep teeth healthy, but also improves the blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. It is an important measure in optimum management of these two chronic diseases.

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