Diabetes warning: The ‘irreversible’ sign of advanced damage in your mouth
IF you're diabetic, you'll know how important it is to keep on top of your blood sugar levels.
Common signs of high blood sugar include an increased thirst and needing to go the loo more, but experts say there could also be indicators in your mouth.
Researchers say that people with severe gum disease (periodontitis) have a harder time keeping their blood sugar levels under control.
For those whose blood sugar is not well controlled, they may find they have trouble with gum disease, the American Dental Association (ADA) states.
A previous study published by experts at the ADA stated that people with diabetes may be at higher risk of developing gum disease than people without diabetes.
Gum disease is a serious infection which in most cases can be treated.
If it's left untreated is can lead to tooth loss which is irreversible, this is because it can destroy the bone that supports your teeth.
As gum disease is an infection, it's likely that diabetics will find it harder to tackle it than other people.
The ADA said: "When it is not well controlled, diabetes also can slow the process of wound healing.
"This means that if you have diabetes, it may take longer for you to heal after dental treatments such as having a tooth removed or any other oral surgery."
A previous ADA study found that in general, diabetic Americans were more prone to tooth loss than those who did not suffer with the condition.
Around 28 per cent of the diabetics tested in the study had lost all of their teeth.
The NHS states that extra glucose in your blood can increase your chance of gum disease and infection.
Official guidance states that you should see a dentist straight away if you notice problems in your mouth.
Experts say that in order to improve gum health you should stop smoking.
This is because smoking weakens your immune system. making it harder for you to fight a gum infection.
One of the main ways to help control your diabetes and prevent gum disease is tokeep on top of your blood sugar levels.
If you're diabetic it's likely you will have been given a device so you can do this at home.
You will be told what your average blood sugar level is and this is referred to as your HbA1c level.
While they differ for everyone, the NHS says that if you monitor your levels at home then a normal target is 4 to 7mmol/l before eating and under 8.5 to 9mmol/l 2 hours after a meal.
If it's tested every few months then a normal HbA1c target is below 48mmol/mol (or 6.5% on the older measurement scale).
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