Diabetes can be bad for the health of teeth and gums. This can lead to tooth loss, dry mouth, loss of taste and eventually, changes that may lead to oral cancer. People with diabetes who have inflammation of their gums (periodontitis) can struggle to control their blood sugar levels. Therefore, it is important that people with diabetes take care of their teeth and visit their dentist regularly.
Poor dental health can cause problems with diabetes
However, the link between diabetes and oral health is not well-understood. Now researchers from Europe look at the effect of offering primary care-based oral health information and dental referrals for patients with diabetes. They studied 764 patients in 24 primary care practices in the Netherlands to explore oral health quality of life. For example, quality of life markers include pain when chewing, being able to chew, speaking, taste sensation, and poor food choices because of problems with teeth. This is not just physical. There are mental health connections too, such as social embarrassment or becoming upset about the state of your teeth.
We need more education about dental health and diabetes
Researchers found that people who received primary care oral health support had a significant improvement in oral health quality of life compared with people who did not get this support. Patients with diabetes can benefit from extra attention to oral health. This research also shows that oral health and general health are connected.