When you have diabetes, the disease affects blood vessels and nerves and therefore can cause problems in any part of the body, including the mouth. The most common oral health problem affecting those with diabetes is gum disease, but there are many other issues diabetics are more prone to.
These problems include:
Oral Infections: swelling, pus, foul odor, bad taste, pain in the mouth or sinus area, pain when chewing, and red or white patches in the mouth may all be signs of an infection. Controlling your blood sugar may be more difficult with an infection, so be sure to discuss treatment options with your dentist.
Fungal Infections: People with diabetes and those who frequently take antibiotics are more prone to developing oral thrush, a fungal infection. Symptoms of this include redness or bleeding in the mouth, a bitter taste, white patches on the cheeks, lips, tongue or back of mouth and pain in the mouth or throat. Thrush is typically treated with anti-fungal medications.
Dry Mouth: Dry mouth is caused either by medications being taken for diabetes or by high blood sugar. Dry mouth increases your risk for many other oral health problems like cavities, ulcers and infections. If you have dry mouth, try drinking more fluids or chewing sugar-free gum to encourage saliva to continue flowing.
Keep your dentist informed of your diabetes treatments, and be sure to mention changes in your mouth at every dental appointment. Updating your medical history with new or discontinued medications/treatments, is very important.