People living with diabetes have to deal with dry mouth condition very often as this is one of the prime symptoms of diabetes. Frequent drying of mouth throughout the day can be quite annoying. You feel thirsty and naturally your water intake increases. Three pairs of salivary glands present in our mouth act as scavengers constantly washing away the harmful microbes from the mouth, and are mainly responsible for maintaining the oral hygiene.
Diabetes causes impaired secretion of saliva from the salivary glands causing dry mouth medically termed as Xerostomia. As the population of diabetics is rising day by day, Xerostomia is also becoming prevalent. The worst part of the story is that most diabetics neglect this symptom and invite other periodontal diseases.
Ways To Deal With Diabetes And Dry Mouth
Watch Out For The Symptoms
Dry mouth condition means a lack of moisture in your oral cavity. Your lips and tongue becomes dry, and there is an uncomfortable feeling when you try to lick your lips. You may experience some sort of irritation in the corners of your mouth.
Burning sensation on the tongue, appearance of painful sores, reduced sense in taste buds and bad breath are other symptoms accompanying dry mouth. Prolonged dry mouth condition often causes inflammation of gums and thrush (oral yeast infection) making swallowing difficult.
Complications Of Diabetes And Dry Mouth
If you are diabetic and experience dry mouth, Oral Thrush High blood sugar makes you vulnerable to various types of microbial infection in the oral cavity and thrush (oral yeast infection) is the most common of them.
White patches appear on the tongue and different areas of the mouth which may turn into painful ulcers. Diabetics also suffer from gingivitis, another common periodontal disease causing pain and inflammation of the gums.
Prevent Diabetes Related Dry Mouth
No doubt the best way to prevent dry mouth condition is to maintain your blood sugar at normal levels. Quit smoking and drinking as these aggravate the condition. Reduce the intake of caffeinated beverages. Check your medications as these can also induce dry mouth condition.
Self Care For Diabetes And Dry Mouth
You need to take additional measures to maintain the oral hygiene and prevent other periodontal diseases.
1. Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day especially before going to bed. Use fluoride containing toothpaste. Toothpaste specially formulated for dry mouth is very helpful in tackling this situation. This will keep your oral cavity clean and retain moisture as well.
2. Use non-alcoholic mouth wash to prevent drying of mouth.
3. Drink water in sips frequently instead of gulping down a huge quantity at a time. This will help your oral cavity moist.
4. Chew sugar free chewing gum and candies throughout the day. This will stimulate the secretion of saliva.
5. Avoid drinking high sugar containing beverages even if you feel tempted.
6. Substitutes for saliva are quite useful in treating dry mouth but use the prescribed ones bought from a reliable drug store.
Check The Warning Signs
You may need to see the dentist if you experience severe pain and inflammation in the gums, bleeding from the gums while washing and flossing, difficulty in chewing and swallowing, pus formation and any sort of distortion of the teeth and gums. A routine oral check up with your dentist will keep you in the safe side.