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.
In every issue of WebMD the Magazine, we ask our experts to answer readers' questions about a wide range of topics. In our July/August 2012 issue, we asked WebMD's diabetes expert, Michael Dansinger, MD, about the link between diabetes and poor sleep.
Q: I have diabetes, and I'm not sleeping well. Are the two related, and what can I do?
A: Yes, people with diabetes often have reduced sleep quality and quantity. Sleep apnea, medications, lack of exercise, and abnormal glucose and hormone...
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.