DIABETES is a serious health condition that causes a person’s blood sugar levels to be too high.
While some of the key signs are thirst and weight loss, one expert said you can also spot the disease in your mouth.
Speaking to The Sun, Dr. Sarah Ramage, Dentist and Clinical Director at Bupa Dental Care, said the increase in Britons with diabetes poses a significant public health challenge.
“Again, this is where the dental team can play a crucial role, as they can identify signs and symptoms of diabetes at check-up and after dental procedures.”
dr Ramage said those with the condition are at higher risk of gum disease and these patients can be much more serious.
The condition can often go undetected and can be difficult to spot as signs can be wiped away as something else.
It is estimated that around 4.9 million people in the UK already have diabetes, of which there are various forms.
Peeing more than usual is a key sign, as is feeling tired and losing weight without trying.
But there are signs in your mouth to look out for.
- Bleeding gums when brushing your teeth
- swollen gums
- red gums
- receding gums
- lose teeth
- bad breath
- Wounds that take longer than usual to heal.
dr Ramage explained that patients are more likely to develop gum disease when their diabetes is poorly controlled.
“Gum disease, however, is often painless in the early stages. So if you’re diabetic, it’s important to see your dentist regularly so they can spot problems early on.”
“Diabetes can affect the body’s ability to heal itself and is associated with an increased risk of infection.
“If a patient didn’t heal properly after a dental procedure or had an infection that was more severe than would normally be expected, a dentist would need to investigate further,” she said.
The best ways to take care of your oral health
dr Ramage said there are some things you can do to keep your oral health in good shape — especially if you’re diabetic.
- Manage your blood sugar – Good blood sugar control helps your body fight bacterial or fungal infections in your mouth and relieve dry mouth caused by diabetes.
- Avoid smoking – Smoking weakens your immune system and makes it harder for your body to fight gingivitis
- refresh – Make sure to brush your teeth twice a day, including dentures, with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste.
- Visit your dentist – Visit your dentist and hygienist for regular check-ups. They can also educate you about the impact of diabetes on your oral health.
In particular, people with type 2 diabetes, says Dr. Ramage are three times more likely to have problems with their oral health than those who do not have the condition.
“Typical dental problems associated with diabetes include tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth, oral thrush and tooth loss.
“Diabetics produce less saliva, which prevents attacks on tooth enamel, and saliva may contain higher levels of sugar — an increased risk of tooth decay,” she said.
When it comes to what diabetics need to do to support their oral health, the expert said it’s best to eat a healthy, balanced diet low in sugar and foods high in fat, salt and sugar, like cookies and chips to avoid chocolate and sugary drinks.
She emphasized that while a doctor will be the first point of contact for diabetics with any problem, dentists should also be well informed about a patient’s condition.
“A combination of self-care and professional dental care will help maintain a healthy smile and potentially slow the progression of diabetes,” she added.
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https://www.the-sun.com/health/5270379/dentist-ways-spot-diabetes-mouth/ I’m a dentist and here are the 7 ways we can detect diabetes in your MOUTH