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Diabetes is a disease marked by high levels of sugar in the bloodstream. Some common symptoms of diabetes are fatigue, frequent urination, mildly high blood pressure, and increased thirst. There are two types of diabetes. In type 1 diabetes, the immune system attacks the insulin producing cells in the pancreas. In type 2 diabetes, the cells become resistant to insulin and the pancreas is unable to produce enough insulin. The risk of developing type 2 diabetes is increased if a sibling or parent has type 2 diabetes.
The common link between diabetes and oral health is gum disease. In fact, people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease. Some symptoms of gum diease are: bad breath, loose teeth, and tender or swollen gums. Gum disease can be diagnosed by your dentist and is treated with a deep cleaning also known as scaling and root planing. For extreme gum disease, you may be referred to a periodontist. There are surgical procedures such as bone and tissue grafts that may done on those with extreme disease.
Another oral health problem that can be associated with diabetes is thrush. Thrush is an infection that grows in the mouth and tongue and can be noticed by the white spots it causes. Thrush can cause ulcers, infection, soreness and even cavities.
If you have any of these symptoms you should make an appointment with your dentist. Our office offers a free intial exam and x-rays for new patients!