Characteristics of the diabetic oral cavity

Diabetics have an increased predisposition for numerous alterations in the mouth, mostly related to high blood sugar levels and reduced defense mechanisms that accompany the disease; they often refer to a bad taste in the mouth, a dry mouth, what can sometimes be even the first symptoms of Diabetes.

The relationship between diabetes and gum problems is reciprocal; diabetes predisposes the sufferer to have sensitive gums, and the problem of gums makes the control of diabetes becomes more difficult, transforming this into a vicious circle.

Diabetics can also suffer from tingling or paresthesia or numbness in the oral region product of alterations of diabetes in the small arteries and nerves, increasing the sensitivity of the teeth to food or drinks; and also predisposes high levels of blood sugar to the presence of fungi, such as candidiasis and mucormycosis, and lichen planes; disorders of the tongue, alterations of taste, ease of infections after tooth extractions and difficulties for healing.

To detect early gum disease, we should observe any change in coloration, normally its color is pale pink; if it bleeds easily, if the gum is retracted leaving exposed an area of ​​the root of the tooth, bad breath, prosthesis that loosen without apparent cause, secretion of pus by the gums and changes in the bite by movement of the teeth.

The most important thing in medicine is prevention, it is our responsibility, as far as possible, to avoid the complications of Diabetes and among them the acute and chronic alterations that it causes in the oral cavity and its components; for which it is essential to maintain good control of blood sugar using the universal resources of a good nutritional strategy, appropriate exercises and medicines, in addition to good oral hygiene, including brushing teeth 3 times a day, and always at night before going to bed, about 3 minutes, cleaning one or two teeth at a time with a soft bristle brush, which should be changed every 3 to 4 months; use dental floss for those places where the brush cannot enter.

It is necessary although you have never done it, because surely they have not asked for it either, to check your mouth in search of any alteration.


The essential thing is the periodic review with your dentist, however you can detect early any alteration in the mouth, performing an easy examination in front of the mirror with the help of a flashlight. Sit in front of the mirror, open your mouth wide and shine your mouth with the flashlight, not the mirror, and observe:

  • Look at the bottom of the mouth where the bell is visible, there are the tonsils, which should not be very red or inflamed
  • Pay attention to your gums and touch them, there should be no balls, wounds, or bleeding
  • See the palate, this should not have any strange stain
  • Check your tongue well, hold it with gauze so you can move it and see it everywhere; see if you have wounds or something strange and touch it to rule out a tumor
  • Raise your tongue to see the floor of your mouth
  • Check your teeth, see if you have cavities or if they are loose

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