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Diabetes and Your Mouth

Diabetes and Your Mouth

Referred to as the “silent killer” because its symptoms are easy to miss, diabetes is one of the leading causes of death in the United States. The sad thing is, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 37 million people in the U.S. aren’t aware that they have it.

Diabetes is a disease that influences how your body uses glucose, or blood sugar.  Normal blood sugar levels are 99mg/dL or lower after an 8-hour fast and less than 140mg/dL 2 hours after consuming food.

Failure to manage blood sugar levels may cause you to experience diabetes symptoms like extreme hunger, increased thirst, frequent urination, unexplained weight loss, fatigue, and slow-healing sores.

Hence, early diagnosis is key, since timely treatment can help lessen serious diabetes complications. Long-term effects include damage to the body’s vital organs like the kidneys and the heart. Diabetes can also cause mouth complications. Pay close attention to changes in your mouth and watch out for symptoms.

Diabetes and Your Mouth: Know the diabetes symptoms that manifest in the mouth

Be aware of the following signs and symptoms:

  • White patches in the mouth (this can also be a symptom of oral cancer)
  • Problems tasting food
  • Burning mouth syndrome, characterized by painful tingling or burning sensation in the mouth

Talk to your Dallas dentist if you notice any of these signs so that she can examine whether your symptoms are diabetes complications.

Diabetes and your oral health

High blood sugar levels can raise the risk of these oral health complications:

  • Dry mouth – is considered as one of the most common oral health issues. Dry mouth can lead to cavities and can make saliva stringy and thick, causing difficulty in swallowing.
  • Cavities – high blood sugar levels in your saliva may cause cavities.
  • Gum disease – can lead to swelling, redness, and bleeding in the gums, loose teeth, mouth pain, difficulty chewing, and persistent bad breath. Among diabetics, this can be more frequent and more severe. These conditions are more likely caused by infected and inflamed gums due to bacteria.
  • Mouth infections may take longer to heal.

Preventive dental exams for early detection

Consistent oral exams can help detect the early signs of diabetes. Although diabetes has no cure, it can be effectively managed. Be sure to tell your Dallas dentist on your next visit if you are experiencing any diabetes symptoms.


“Diabetes Fast Facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/quick-facts.html
“Diabetes,” Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/diabetes/symptoms-causes/syc-20371444
“Diabetes Tests,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/basics/getting-tested.html   “Diabetes and Oral Health,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/diabetes/managing/diabetes-oral-health.html