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Dry mouth with diabetes

Dry mouth with diabetes

A dry mouth can be a very unpleasant feeling and can be brought on by diabetes. It occurs when there is insufficient moisture in the mouth. It is important to treat a dry mouth properly as it could lead to a overgrowth of harmful bacteria in the mouth resulting in various oral discomforts.

Symptoms

The main sign of a dry mouth is obviously the lack of moisture in your mouth. Other common signs include gingivitis (inflammation of the gums), bad breath, dental caries, irritations at the corner of your mouth and yeast infections in the mouth. Also, people with a dry mouth can have difficulty eating, swallowing and speaking.

Causes of a dry mouth

In people with diabetes, the most common cause for a dry mouth is high blood sugar levels. It is said that diabetes has an effect on the functioning of the salivary glands. Saliva plays an important part in the mouth by controlling levels of bacteria as well as neutralizing acid around gums and teeth. Other causes of a dry mouth are a lack of hydratation, smoking or a side effect of certain medication and illnesses.

Prevention

There are several things you can do when you are suffering from a dry mouth:

  • Drink sufficient water
  • Eating healthy (lots of fruits and vegetables)
  • Avoid smoking
  • Avoid eating too much sugar
  • Brush your teeth regularly, at least twice a day
  • Floss regularly
  • Avoid sugar
  • Use a tong scraper
  • Chew sugar-free gum to keep the saliva flowing

For people with diabetes, keeping blood glucose levels within the recommended range is also important in preventing a dry mouth. Also, make sure see your dentist or dental hygienist for an oral examination at least every six months.