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Diabetes and its oral effects

Increased blood glucose level will not only affects the internal organs but also it has its own hazardous effects on the oral cavity and its associated structures.

Effect on gums :

Diabetes will influence the onset and course of gum diseases. As such, gums may not get weakened out of diabetes directly, but it will alter the gum response to the local irritants, thereby hastening the destruction of the gum structures. Also that, inflammation of the gums are quite common, and weakens the tooth and the associated bone structures.

Reduced immunity and oral candidiasis :

In general, diabetic patients are less immune as compared to the normal people. Superinfection with fungal disease called candidiasis are frequently seen in patients with uncontrolled diabetes.

Impaired healing mechanism :

Raised blood sugar level affects the collagen mechanism, thereby reduces the healing process. Dry socket Dry socket – Reason and treatment develops in diabetes hence they show delayed healing and impaired immunological balance.

Burning mouth :

Chronic diabetes could cause atrophy of the taste buds and along with other unexplained causative factors, could cause burning mouth, paraesthesia, altered taste sensation and weakness of oral muscle.

Neuropathy and arteriosclerotic damages :

Degeneration of nerve fibres and increased stiffening of end blood vessels in diabetes could cause decreased blood flow and sensation to the tooth and other oral structures.

Dry mouth :

Xerostomia Dry mouth – cause and effect is common in diabetic patients due to impaired function of salivary glands. In some cases, asymptomatic bilateral enlargement of salivary glands could occur.


Textbook of oral medicine by Anil Govindrao Ghom

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