Spotting diabetes symptoms early is very difficult if you don’t know what signs to look for.
Among the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes is a slight change in the smell of breath.
Dr Neil Sika, chief dental officer at insurance company Bupa UK, says many are unaware of what gum disease can mean for their overall health.
Dr. Sica explained: “What most people don’t know is that your dentist can be your first line of defense in detecting symptoms of broader health problems. Using some of the senses, such as sight, touch and smell, dentists will be in an excellent position to detect adverse health conditions in the mouth that It can affect the rest of the body.”
Breath and gums can be symptoms of diabetes, and perhaps the first warning signs of heart disease and stroke.
The marks in the mouth to look for
1- Bad breath:
“Dentists are trained to recognize the smell coming from the teeth and gums. Certain smells mean different things, the smell of pear drops or bad breath can be an indicator of uncontrolled diabetes, which is something patients will need to see a doctor about,” says Dr. Sica.
This is due to the high levels of ketones, which are caused by the body burning fat instead of sugar because it cannot produce insulin, which is necessary to break down glucose.
2- Inflammation and bleeding of the gums:
It is well documented that people with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease. However, research has begun to show a link that works both ways.
Gum disease and infection can increase blood sugar levels. Both affect each other, indicating that if one develops, there is an increased risk that the other will develop as well.
Since diabetes can raise the level of glucose in your mouth, this can make your mouth a breeding ground for bacteria.
High blood sugar also makes it harder for your body to fight infection, which means your gums can still have bad breath.
In addition to being a potential symptom of diabetes, it can lead to more serious events such as heart attacks and strokes.
This combination of increased levels of bacteria and inflammation can damage the blood vessels that supply the heart and brain, potentially leading to heart disease and stroke.
How to keep your gums healthy
“There is clearly a link between dental health and other serious conditions,” says Dr. Sica.
He continued, “Maintaining oral health, especially gums, will help reduce the risk of complications from a range of health conditions and help improve your overall health. Be open with your dentist about any broader health concerns you may have. It helps us perform our duty of care more appropriately. right, making sure that everyone can live a longer, healthier and happier life.”
Here are Dr. Sicas top seven tips for maintaining healthy gums:
Don’t forget to floss or brush between your teeth, and always floss first and then brush.
Brush twice a day for two minutes with a fluoride toothpaste.
Change your toothbrush at least every three months, or sooner if the bristles are frayed.
If you use mouthwash, wait at least 30 minutes after brushing your teeth. The mouthwash will wash away any fluoride from the toothpaste that may remain on the teeth.
Visit your dentist and hygienist for regular checkups.
Know the signs of gum disease, if your gums bleed when brushing your teeth, or become red and swollen.
Make healthy lifestyle choices: Not smoking, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a healthy diet all help reduce the risk of serious health complications, in your mouth and elsewhere on your body.