How Your Oral Health Can Help Determine Early Signs Of Type II Diabetes

gum disease

Taking care of your mouth in general, and your teeth, in particular, can have a parallel effect on your overall health. A person who faces frequent oral health problems is bound to have poor control over their blood sugar and vice versa, either can be considered a warning sign for diabetes. Following a healthy diet, keeping up with a good oral routine, and scheduling regular dental visits can help prevent medical disorders such as Type II Diabetes.

Signs and Symptoms

Saliva helps control the bacterial enzymes in our mouth. Everyone has several million bacteria living inside their mouth, which is considered normal, and controlled glucose levels help maintain a fine balance between the good and bad bacteria in your mouth. In Type II Diabetes, the body cannot respond as well to insulin and becomes unable to function properly, which in turn prevents the glucose from being used as fuel for energy. If left untreated, this type of diabetes continues to significantly decrease the chances of your body to produce sufficient insulin, eventually leading to chronically high blood glucose levels. High glucose levels cause bad bacteria to increase in numbers and lead to plaque formation, cavities, tooth decay initially, and eventually, gum disease and tooth loss.

Since Type II diabetes symptoms develop gradually, most people find out too late.  However, there are a number of signs in your mouth that indicate uncontrolled blood sugar levels. Be on the lookout for any pain when chewing or unusually sore or swollen gums. If you consistently brush and floss your teeth but are still faced with bleeding gums and bad breath, this could be a sign of severe inflammation. White patches within the mouth, redness of the tongue, and cracked skin at the corner of the lips are all indications that you have developed thrush, a fungal infection that occurs in the mouth. Visit your dentist immediately if you are faced with any of these symptoms.

How To Keep A Healthy Mouth

Practicing good oral hygiene is the first and most important step in helping you determine early signs of several medical conditions, such as type II diabetes. According to research, increased teeth brushing (three times or more per day) with fluoride toothpaste is being linked with reduced plaque build-up along the gumline, decreasing the risk of diabetes and gum disease. 

Following a healthy diet rich in nutritious foods that include complex carbohydrates such as fruits and vegetables and avoiding processed food, which includes sugar and high-fat dairy products, is an exemplary way to help manage blood sugar levels.

Regular dental appointments are essential to maintaining healthy teeth, especially if you have high cholesterol or high blood pressure. Under these circumstances, keeping your dentist informed about any changes in your health, including sharing the results of any blood glucose tests taken, will assist them in determining early signs of type II diabetes. Paying regular visits to your dentist will also alert them about loose teeth so they can take the necessary x-rays to calculate the percentage of deep periodontal pockets and take immediate action to reduce the onset of periodontitis.

People with diabetes are more likely to develop soreness, cavities, thrush, mouth ulcers which, if left untreated, leads to gingivitis, gum disease, and periodontitis (severe gum infection with bone destruction). These oral problems can indicate the presence of Type II diabetes growing in the body. Researchers indicate that practicing proper oral hygiene helps prevent damage to your teeth and gums and can be beneficial in reducing the risk of type II diabetes.

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