Of course you wouldn’t think to call up your dentist if you were feeling under the weather. You’d call your physician or maybe even a more specific doctor, depending on your symptoms and medical history. But you might be surprised to know that there are certain diseases that a dentist may be able to detect just by looking at your mouth. One of those diseases is diabetes.
Warning Signs of Diabetes in Your Mouth
Dry Mouth: While dry mouth can be caused by certain medications like antihistamines, seizure medications, antidepressants, narcotic pain medications, and a variety of others (always check the label for side effects), if a patient is not taking one of these medications, that lack of fluid in your mouth can be a sign of diabetes. Because of their elevated glucose levels, diabetics do not produce enough saliva to keep the mouth sufficiently wet.
Cavities: Saliva and cavities are also closely related. Without saliva, you cannot properly rinse your mouth of the food particles that are leftover after you eat. This will, in turn, lead to being more prone to cavities. Due to their lack of saliva, diabetics may suffer from a larger amount of and more severe cavities.
Periodontitis: Undetected and untreated gingivitis (a relatively mild, treatable infection in the gums) leads to periodontitis, a very serious gum infection that will lead to the destruction of not only your gums, which function as a protection for your teeth, but also the bones around your teeth, which literally support your teeth. It also happens to be one of the early signs of diabetes. Patients who suffer from sore (and sometimes even) bleeding gums and/or experience unexpected tooth loss, might have diabetes as well. While the effects of periodontitis in the mouth are irreversible, there are options and therapies available.
Because as diabetes progresses, the possible complications worsen, it is imperative to detect the onset as early as possible. These are some other common warning signs.