Experiencing a dry mouth? Then it can be one of the tell-tale signs of diabetes

Diabetes is a disease that can affect the whole body, including your mouth! Look out for these signs and symptoms of oral health to know if you have diabetes.
oral health signs of diabetes
Diabetes can cause many complications, when it comes to your oral health. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
Aayushi Gupta Updated: 30 Oct 2023, 15:10 pm IST
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Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects millions of people around the world every year. It takes a toll on your entire body, including your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, and other parts of your body. Most people are aware of the signs and symptoms of diabetes, but some people don’t have any symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of diabetes include excessive hunger, frequent urination, fatigue, and irritability. 

Have you ever woken up in the morning with a dry mouth? Well, it can be a sign of diabetes! With diabetes, you’re more likely to develop tooth problems and gum diseases. The link between diabetes and oral health problems is high blood sugar. If you’re living with diabetes, you need to pay particular attention to your oral health and dental care.

These are some oral health symptoms to watch for:
1. Dry mouth

Dry mouth is the very first sign of type 1 and type 2 diabetes, known as xerostomia. Diabetes can cause a lack of saliva in your mouth, so you might find yourself feeling parched and extra thirsty. It can also lead to soreness, ulcers, infection and tooth decay, either due to uncontrolled diabetes or due to certain diabetes medications. 

Also read: BP & diabetes troubling your parents? Make sure to add whole grains to their diet

2. Gum disease

Have you ever noticed light bleeding when you brush or floss.? That may be an early sign of gum disease. It can make your gums bleed and swell. This is known as gingivitis. If left untreated, gingivitis can lead to a more serious infection called periodontitis, which destroys the soft tissues and bones that support your teeth. 

oral health signs of diabetes
High sugar levels can lead to gum infections. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
3. Tooth decay

The higher your blood sugar levels, the higher your risk of tooth decay (cavities). Your mouth naturally contains many types of bacteria and when it interacts with starches and sugars, it forms plaque. The acid in the plaque attacks your enamel, leading to cavities and gum disease. If tooth decay is not treated, it can cause pain, infection, and even tooth loss.

Also read: Alcohol use and diabetes: Here’s why this combination can be dangerous

4. Thrush

Oral thrush (candidiasis) is a fungal infection. People with diabetes frequently take antibiotics to fight various infections, making them prone to developing a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. Signs of thrush include painful white and sometimes red patches on your mouth, gums, tongue, cheeks or the roof of your mouth. These patches can turn into open sores. The condition can quickly become irritated, but practicing good oral hygiene can help you avoid thrush. 

oral health signs of diabetes
Oral problems can include pain in your gums as well. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
5. Slow healing of oral tissues

People with diabetes may develop poor circulation. As circulation slows down, blood moves more slowly, which makes it more difficult for the body to deliver nutrients to wounds. As a result, the injuries, infection and type of oral condition heals slowly or may not heal at all. If you feel something in your mouth that isn’t healing, you should see your dentist. 

6. Burning mouth and tongue

Burning mouth is a painful and complex condition, often described as a burning scalding or tingling feeling in the mouth. A burning sensation inside the mouth is caused by uncontrolled blood glucose levels, which are accompanied by a dry mouth, bitter taste, and burning feeling. These symptoms may worsen throughout the day. 

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Look for these signs and symptoms of oral health conditions to know if you have diabetes. And if you notice any problems, see your dentist right away. 

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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