Mouth health: The three mouth symptoms indicating your possible risk of diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is a chronic condition whereby the body does not produce enough insulin or the insulin it does produce is not taken up by the cells. The mouth experiences a lot of changes when these systems don’t work effectively causing a number of unusual mouth symptoms.

One of the most common symptoms of type 2 diabetes is dry mouth, or xerostomia.

Not everyone with diabetes will experience dry mouth and it could be caused by a host of other conditions.

By learning to control your glucose levels a person may be able to reduce their dry mouth symptom.

Experts advise taking medication as advised and avoid sugary food and drinks.

If you have dry mouth and suspect you might have diabetes, you should talk to your primary care doctor.

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Symptoms of a dry mouth can include:

  • A rough, dry tongue
  • A lack of moisture in the mouth
  • Frequent pain in the mouth
  • Cracked and chapped lips
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Infections in the oral cavity
  • Difficulty with swallowing, talking, or chewing.

A burning mouth or tongue could be a warning sign of diabetes, said the Cleveland Clinic.

It could be caused by thrush – a fungal infection of the mouth and tongue, it added.

High blood sugar levels in the mouth and saliva provide the perfect environment for fungus to grow.

“People with diabetes face a higher-than-normal risk of oral health problems,” said the health site.

“If blood sugar is poorly controlled, it is more likely that oral health problems will arise.”

When a person has type 2 diabetes their body doesn’t make enough, or any, insulin or doesn’t use it well.

Glucose then lingers in the blood and can’t get into the cells.

When the body can’t get energy from glucose, it burns fat in its place.

The fat-burning process creates a build-up of acids in your blood called ketones, which leads to DKA if untreated causing a sweet smelling breath.

Do you have it?

Many people have type 2 diabetes without realising. This is because symptoms do not necessarily make you feel unwell.

Symptoms of type 2 diabetes include:

  • Peeing more than usual, particularly at night
  • Feeling thirsty all the time
  • Feeling very tired
  • Losing weight without trying to
  • Itching around your penis or vagina, or repeatedly getting thrush
  • Cuts or wounds taking longer to heal
  • Blurred vision.

“See a GP if you have any of the symptoms of type 2 diabetes or you’re worried you may have a higher risk of getting type 2 diabetes,” advises the NHS.

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