The mouth is a mirror of health or disease, a sentinel or early warning system. About a third of diabetic patients complain of xerostomia(dry mouth), which may be due to an overall diminished flow of saliva and an increased salivary glucose level. The increased glucose levels in the saliva in poorly controlled diabetes result in high incidence of dental caries. Poor healing, xerostomia with subsequent increased accumulation of plaque and food debris,higher susceptibility to infections contribute to the increased incidence of periodontal disease in diabetic patients. Regular dental visits are important.
Research suggests that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control in patients living with diabetes, decreasing the progression of the disease. Practicing good oral hygiene and having professional deep cleanings done by your dentist can help to lower your HbA1c. Patients with poorly controlled diabetes and likely will require supplemental antibiotic therapy and delayed wound healing. Orofacial infections require close monitoring.