Diabetes type 2: Dr Zoe Williams discusses high blood sugar risks
Diabetes can go undetected for many years because the problem that drives symptoms – high blood sugar levels – can be reluctant to rear its ugly head.
The warning signs don’t necessarily make you feel ill or they tend to be general, which makes knowing what to look for front and centre.
Interestingly, the blood sugar condition could also spur on “first” signs inside of your mouth, according to the leading dentist Rizwan Mahmood, from Rüh Dental.
Fruity-smelling breath and a dry mouth are just some of the “oral red flags” that could indicate a person suffers from diabetes.
Dr Mahmood said: “As dentists, we are at the forefront of spotting serious health conditions like diabetes which can be developing in the body without the host’s knowledge.
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“This is why people should visit their dentist at least twice a year for check-ups and cleaning.
“It’s also wise to be aware of any changes in the mouth. If you notice anything untoward, see your dentist or medical practitioner.”
The dentist recommended looking out for the following signs that could point to the blood sugar condition:
- Bleeding gums
- Sore gums
- Gum disease
- Bad breath
- Loss of teeth
- Dry mouth
- Oral thrush
- Fruity-smelling breath
- Oral fungal infections.
Bleeding and sore gums could be symptoms of gum disease which can be prevalent in people with underlying conditions, such as diabetes.
Dr Mahmood said: “If you have diabetes, you’re more likely to suffer from a gum disease known as periodontal disease.
“This is inflammation in the gums and the bones around your teeth.”
According to the expert, periodontal disease can trigger further warning signs, including bad breath and even loss of teeth.
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Another tell-tale sign could be a dry mouth, which can make you more prone to ulceration and tooth decay, the doctor warned.
He continued: “Furthermore, you are also prone to developing oral thrush as it can impact the way your body fights off infections.
“This can put your gums at risk of inflammation because of the bacteria living in plaque.”
One of the key signs of diabetes that could signal a potentially life-threatening condition is fruity breath.
Dr Mahmood said: “Fruity-smelling breath can be a sign of diabetic ketoacidosis which is a dangerous and potentially life-threatening condition in which your blood sugar is so high it starts turning acidic.
“But as dentists we are constantly working around the mouth and can pick up on this distinctive oral scent.”
The last sign to watch out for is oral fungal infections.
The doctor added: “Keep up with regular check-ups so your dentist can monitor any changes orally.”
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