Diabetes can affect your whole body, including your mouth. So you’ll want to take special care of your teeth and gums. It’s also important to manage your blood sugar. Over time, increased levels of blood glucose can put you at risk for oral health problems.
How can you get your daily chocolate fix -- and eat less sugar or calories, too? That's a million-dollar question that several companies are banking on people asking. Over the past few years, the sugar-free and portion-controlled chocolate market has exploded. There are all sorts of sugar-free versions of favorite chocolate bars. And you can now buy individually wrapped chocolate bars or sticks in 60- to 100-calorie portions, along with the ever-popular kisses.
To help you decide among all the options...
Dry mouth, which can lead to soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay.
Inflammation in your gums.
Thrush. People with diabetes who often take antibiotics to fight infections are more likely to get this fungal infection of the mouth and tongue. The fungus thrives on the high levels of sugar in the saliva of people with uncontrolled diabetes. It can give your mouth and tongue a burning feeling.
You can do a lot to avoid these problems, starting with the basics of taking good care of your mouth, teeth, and gums.
National Diabetes Information Clearinghouse: "Prevent diabetes problems: Keep your teeth and gums healthy."
American College of Periodontology: "Mouth Body Connection."
American Dental Association.