Complication: Diabetes

Symptoms

Increased thirst, frequent urination, increased feeling of hunger, weight loss, weight gain, fatigue, slow wound healing, frequent infections, blurred vision, foot pain and numbness, feeling “shaky” or dizzy, mood changes

Diabetes is a disease defined by the body’s inability to sufficiently produce enough insulin, therefore causing elevates blood sugar levels. While diabetes is a serious health issue and can create a host of complications throughout the body, it is manageable with the right treatment and health regimen.

According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes are more at risk for oral health complications. Conversely, new studies are also pointing toward the reciprocal nature of blood sugar levels and gum disease: just as people with diabetes are more at risk for gum disease, people with gum disease are more susceptible to poor blood glucose control.

If you are diabetic, you are at an increased risk of severe gum disease and losing more teeth than a non-diabetic. This is because diabetics have an increased risk of bacterial infection, and therefore can have more difficulty fighting off any infection in the mouth.

As a diabetic, you know that properly maintained blood sugar levels are critical to your overall health and well-being. Severe gum disease, caused by bacteria in the mouth, can cause elevated blood sugar levels, which makes those levels harder to control.

Your mouth could save your life.

Recent studies show that 29.1% of the American population lives with diabetes—and 8.1 million people are unaware they have it. Proper treatment and blood glucose control is key to living a healthy life with diabetes. But how do you know if you have diabetes, or even pre-diabetes? While you can always take a test administered by your doctor’s office, you mouth can provide some insight on your blood sugar level status.

Here are some warning signs of diabetes to look out for, which can have a severe impact on your oral and overall health if left untreated:

  • Dry mouth
  • Bleeding gums with brushing and/or flossing
  • Gum recession
  • Bad breath
  • Loose or shifting teeth
  • Increased infections

Read other warning signs of diabetes here.

Schedule an appointment with your doctor if you experience any of these signs. Your doctor will be able to examine you and determine the right care for your individual needs.