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Dealing with dry mouth in diabetes? Here are some nifty diet & hygiene tips that could help you get rid of it!

Dealing with dry mouth in diabetes? Here are some nifty diet & hygiene tips that could help you get rid of it!

Dry mouth is counted as a common symptom in diabetes which is medically called ‘xerostomia’. It can be a symptom of both- Type 1 diabetes and Type 2 diabetes. It’s equally common in non-diabetics. If your mouth feels dry frequently and you suspect that you have diabetes or have been diagnosed with the condition, it’s time to see a doctor immediately. Today, through this article, we will provide you with information regarding dry mouth during diabetes and the steps that can be taken to treat it.

First, let’s understand what are the symptoms of dry mouth?

The problem of dry mouth is due to less saliva production in the mouth which further gives rise to the following symptoms:

A rough, dry tongue

Tongue cuts

Lack of moisture in the mouth

Frequent pain in the mouth

Cracked lips

Mouth ulcer

Infections in the oral cavity

Difficulty in swallowing, talking or chewing

If the problem of dry mouth is not addressed, then one could even face difficulty in eating food.

Also, the bad breath (known as halitosis) can worsen the oral hygiene of a person. Furthermore, some diabetes patients can also suffer from bleeding of the lips and gums–here’s when you must see a doctor immediately.

Dry mouth in diabetes: Why does this problem occur?

It’s not uncommon to see people getting these symptoms, and the cause for the same is yet not known. High blood sugar can partly contribute to this, in fact, some studies show that medicines given to treat diabetes can also be the cause of this problem. At the same time, the problem of dry mouth may also persist due to dehydration. Another reason for dry mouth could be due to smoking. While it is known that people with diabetes are more prone to yeast infections, due to the high glucose level in the blood and saliva; it’s best to get a thorough check up done from a doctor to understand the problem at length.

Read More: Pear for Diabetes: How is the Fruit Beneficial for Patients?

When can dry mouth in diabetes cause problems?

Dry mouth during diabetes can cause problems when it is left untreated properly. Saliva works to break down carbohydrates with the help of enzymes and at the same time it has the ability to fight pathogens or infections. If the saliva is made in small quantities, then the chances of infection also increase. In such a situation, there may also be a problem of cavities in the teeth. If left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the gums, irritation of the gums, periodontitis, or inflammation of the tissues around the teeth. Other dental conditions like oral thrush or candidiasis can then lead to fungal infections in the mouth. While bad breath is a hygiene issue, at the same time it can also be a problem related to taste while eating.

Here are some handy tips that one could adopt as part of home remedies for dry mouth:

  1. One should avoid high amounts of sugary drinks. Avoiding caffeine and artificial sweeteners can help relieve your problem.
  2. One should drink plenty of water throughout the day. Some people have a habit of drinking a lot of water at once and then drinking it only after an interval of three to four hours. You should avoid doing this and drink water every once in a while.
  3. Ensure you floss your teeth after finishing meals.
  4. One can consume high-fibre fruits and vegetables as part of their diet.
  5. Opting for toothpicks to clean your mouth.
  6. Using an alcohol-free mouthwash
  7. You should brush your teeth twice daily with a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  8. If you experience bad breath, you can go for a mint containing xylitol.
  9. Get your diabetes checked from time to time, so that you can get rid of the problem of diabetes and dry mouth.

Read More : 15 Noteworthy Diabetes Facts you Simply shouldn’t Ignore

How can one maintain blood sugar level?

Maintaining blood sugar level within a normal range can make the issue of dry mouth relatively easier to relieve. One can maintain their blood sugar or blood glucose level by adopting the following habits:

  • Include low sugar foods and drinks in diet
  • Include high-fibre foods in diet
  • Take the prescribed medicines at the right time, every day
  • Practice daily glucose monitoring
  • Avoiding sugary treats at night

If you take care of your diet and dental hygiene, then the problem of dry mouth during diabetes can be easily eliminated. However, a check-up with your doctor from time to time will not only help you deal with dry mouth as a concern but also your overall blood glucose level.

Hello Health does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment of any kind. For more health-related information, you can visit our website and if you have any more specific questions related to your condition, it’s best to check with a professional.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

Salivary gland dysfunction markers in type 2 diabetes mellitus patients. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4628805/ Accessed on 8/6/2021

Update knowledge of dry mouth – A guideline for dentists. African Health Sciences, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4209628/  Accessed on 8/6/2021

Influence of oral moisturizing jelly as a saliva substitute for the relief of xerostomia in elderly patients with hypertension and diabetes mellitus  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26631691   Accessed on 8/6/2021

 Xerostomia due to systemic disease: A review of 20 conditions and mechanisms. Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Researchhttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4160670/  Accessed on 8/6/2021

Prevent diabetes problems: Keep your mouth healthy. (2014, September) http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/Diabetes/prevent-diabetes-problems/Pages/keep-your-mouth-healthy.aspx  Accessed on 8/6/2021

Dry mouth. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1819535/  Accessed on 8/6/2021

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Written by Nikita Updated कल
Expertly reviewed by Dr. Ruby Ezekiel