Dry Mouth Diabetes Symptoms
One of the symptoms of diabetes is dry mouth. It is a common symptom for a number of reasons. So, we should know about its causes, signs connected to it and how it can be treated.
Oral health, which is usually not given much attention, is of great importance to our overall health. When diabetes causes dry mouth, our oral health is also affected. So, let us look at the reason for it and how it can be treated.
Dry mouth can be a symptom of diabetes, although there may be other symptoms which can also be experienced. It is most common among those having type 1 diabetes. So, why does diabetes cause dry mouth to occur? The cause can be one of those listed below:
- A side-effect of any of the diabetes medications: Medications used to manage diabetes can have side-effects. Some diabetic patients also use medications to prevent hypertension which can result from diabetes or control their blood pressure; and these medications can also cause side-effects. One of the side-effects can be a dry mouth.
- Dehydration: Due to hydration, which happens to diabetics often, a dry mouth is frequently experienced.
- Kidney problems: Kidney problems are possible complications of diabetes. As a result of problems in the kidney, the body is usually depleted of fluid and a dry mouth is the result.
- Constant high blood glucose levels: When the blood glucose levels are constantly high and there is hyperglycemia, the body tries to get rid of the excess glucose through the urine and much fluid is lost. This leads to a dry mouth.
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Although a dry mouth is a symptom of diabetes, there are also symptoms brought about by a dry mouth which results from diabetes.
- Dental Cavities: A diabetic having a dry mouth as a result of diabetes may find an increasing number of cavities in their teeth in the least expected places.
- Irritation at Mouth Corners: The edges and corners of a diabetic’s mouth can become dry and have a pale or slightly white coloration. This is a condition called Cheilitis and it causes irritation.
- Gingivitis: When the mouth is dry because of diabetes, the gums can be inflamed. This symptom of a dry mouth is called gingivitis.
- Yeast Infection: Diabetes and a dry mouth can lead to the development on the tongue, a yeast infection.
- Mouth Sores: When the mouth is dry as a result of diabetes, mouth sores are bound to occur.
See : Diabetic Dental Care
Dry mouth can easily be treated using the methods given below:
- Use Toothpastes with Fluoride: Toothpastes for treating a dry mouth are available. However, if they are not available in your area, a toothpaste with fluoride can be used.
- Eat Foods with Hardly Any Sugar and Salt in them: Try not to eat foods which contain too much sugar and salt in them. Sugar in the mouth can result in your teeth having cavities and salt brings dehydration. Citrus juices also contain a lot of sugar.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Drink lots of water to avoid having your mouth become dry.
- Clean Your Mouth After Each Meal: After each meal, make sure that your mouth is thoroughly washed and rinsed.
- Clean Dentures and Braces Thoroughly If You Are Wearing Them: If you are wearing dentures, remember to take them off after each meal and give them a thorough brushing. If you have braces, make sure that your mouth is washed thoroughly after each meal.
- Use Only Mouthwash Which Has No Alcohol: A mouthwash which contains alcohol should never be used to treat a dry mouth that is caused by diabetes.
- Moisturize your Lips: Irritation at mouth corners can be prevented by using a lip balm which is not flavored.
- A Saliva Substitute is Necessary: In certain cases, a gel can be used to replace your saliva if the mouth is too dry. However, this is not a permanent solution and it should only be used with your doctor’s approval.
Although this article is only about dry mouth, do not think that having this symptom definitely means you have diabetes. It can be something else. When in doubt, always consult your doctor who can find the actual cause of your dry mouth. Until a diagnosis from the doctor is done, you can use the above treatments for your problem.