How is oral health related to diabetes?

An elevation in the blood glucose concentration affecting carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism is called as diabetes mellitus. Oral health can be affected by the poor glycemic control in patients with diabetes. Diabetic patients can develop following dental problems with persistent poor glycemic control;

  • Gingivitis
  • Periodontal disease
  • Fungal infections such as oral candidiasis and lichen planus
  • Dental caries
  • Tooth loss
  • Enlarged parotid glands
  • Taste dysfunction
  • Burning mouth syndrome
  • Xerostomia

The increased occurrence and severity of periodontitis is the most prominent oral symptom which is associated with the diabetes. Depending on the severity of the periodontal disease, the duration and metabolic control of the diabetes varies.

How does oral inflammation results from hyperglycemia?

Oral inflammation is caused by two steps;

  • Increase in concentration of the glucose in the saliva and gingival fluid of periodontal pocket leading to oral inflammation
  • Increased advanced glycation formation due to hyperglycemia due to overexposure of sugars, lipids and proteins

How is oral inflammation and diabetes managed?

  • The fundamental aspect in management of diabetes is to control blood glucose and to minimize the complications associated with it
  • Prevention of the periodontal disease must be considered and the control of the periodontal disease is the important aspect of diabetes management
  • Reduction in the bacterial infection and gingivitis must be emphasized

How is oral inflammation and diabetes treated?

Treatment basically involves two steps;

  1. The first step is to reduce and to control the bacteria both at the supragingival and at gingival level in the teeth packets and teeth spaces. This helps in removal of bacterial plaque and its associated toxins at the tooth and its root surfaces
  2. The second step is focused on to minimize the degradation of the connective tissue. This involves inhibition of the enzyme which creates periodontal tissue

Hence a good blood glucose level control would create better oral hygiene.

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