Diabetes and Dry Mouth
At Lura Health, we are on a mission to save your teeth and improve your oral hygiene. Many preexisting health conditions come hand in hand with negative side effects on our oral health. One health condition in particular is diabetes - it can at times lead to dry mouth in many patients.
Dry mouth (xerostomia) can make it difficult to speak but it can also lead to greater chances of tooth decay and fungal infections. It can even impact your appetite! More importantly, this potential side effect of diabetes needs to be dealt with preemptively in order to avoid some of the more negative end results. Dry mouth can be seen in individuals with both forms of diabetes (Type 1 and Type 2). And as a reminder to those of you interested in the crossover between saliva and tooth decay, our saliva helps breakdown acid that's been produced by bacteria in our mouths. Not only does saliva help limit the growth of bacteria, it also helps in clearing away any remaining food particles! Symptoms of dry mouth include: dryness or a sticky feeling in the mouth, thick or stringy saliva, difficulty chewing, speaking and swallowing and a dry or sore throat (among other conditions). Dry mouth can also lead to mouth sores, yeast infections in the mouth (thrush) and a lack of healthy nutrition due to complications with chewing and swallowing.
However, it's also important to know that dry mouth can be caused by other factors, such as aging, nerve damage or cancer therapy among others. While treatment options are available for diabetics with dry mouth, drinking pure water can be very helpful too. Mints and gums, as well as sugar-free mouthwashes, can also help in the production of saliva in the mouth! As with many dental conditions, avoiding tobacco products, alcohol and caffeine can help to ameliorate the problem too. It's a process but it's important to strive for these preemptive measures as potential barriers to the effects and impacts from dry mouth.