What Is Dry Mouth In People With Diabetes
In a nutshell, dry mouth is exactly what it sounds like: your mouth is struggling to produce adequate amounts of saliva. And every bit of your mouth feels like its been dried out with cotton balls.
Also known as xerostomia, dry mouth in people with type 1 and type 2 diabetes is common, but if youre experiencing it nearly every day, you shouldnt ignore it.
In addition to your mouth feeling constantly dry, symptoms of xerostomia can also include:
- dry, rough-feeling tongue
- sores on the inside of your lips
- sores on your gums
- overall pain throughout your mouth
- discomfort eating and swallowing food
- bad breath
How Is This Dental Problem Treated
Diabetics are used to accessing treatments that maintain or improve their health. For instance, people with diabetes might wear compression socks that ease health problems, such as swelling and discomfort from deep vein thrombosis, and many take pills or insulin injections to regulate their blood levels. Many also follow special diets that help them to stay well. When it comes to dry mouth, treatment options are also available. Drinking plenty of pure water should be very helpful. You may also want to use sugar-free mouthwashes, mints, and gums in order to stimulate the production of saliva. Avoid alcohol, tobacco products, and caffeine, as all may make dry mouth problems worse. As you can see, some simple lifestyle changes are usually enough to minimize or eliminate the problem.
Avoid Sugary Drinks And Foods
And just like that, we’ve reached the last tip the most important one as well!The very reason you’ve developed type 2 diabetes is that you’ve been consuming too many bad sugars. Think of:
- Soft drinks
- Fast food
No one develops type 2 diabetes just like that. You develop it by following the wrong diet for many years.The excess sugars have destroyed your body’s ability to regulate itself. Thus, the sugars remain in your bloodstream. Processed products, in particular, are full of substances that your body cannot use.
The sugars in these products make you insensitive to insulin. You would, therefore, do yourself an enormous favor if you changed your diet completely.
The beginning of the end
Type 2 diabetes is a disease that can have major consequences. A dry mouth in diabetes is only the beginning. If you do nothing at all, complications will occur that will shorten your life span. But where, exactly, should you start?
It has recently been discovered that it is possible to reverse type 2 diabetes. Everything you need to do this can be found in your local grocery store.You can reverse type 2 with one powerful principle. It’s something I call“The Diabetes-Free Secret.” I’ve written a number of pages about this secret that will change your life forever. You will learn:
- Why you got type 2 diabetes
- What mechanism you can use to reverse diabetes
- The best tips to be diabetes-free within a few weeks
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Diabetes And Dry Mouth: Is There A Connection
Close up picture of suprised ginger woman covering her mouth and looking at the camera over yellow background
Xerostomia or dry mouth usually occurs due to reduced amount of saliva in your mouth, or from changes in the biochemical composition of saliva. Everyone can experience something like that, especially in cases of anxiety, inconvenience or pressure. But if you have dry mouth very often, this can be uncomfortable and lead to oral health problems or suggest that there is already a more serious medical condition.
Beware Of Salty Products
In almost every Western cuisine, just two seasonings are used on virtually every dish:
Not very exciting as you can see.Furthermore, salt is used as a food seasoning much more than pepper. Which is unfortunate because unlike salt pepper is healthy.
Now, I have to confess something to you: salt that you can see is often not a problem.What do I mean by this?Salt that is sprinkled over food and salt on nuts, for example.It turns out that this contains only 10% of your total salt intake. So, where does that other 90% come from?
It’s hidden in many products.Think of:
- Ready-to-eat meals
- Fast food
In fact, all processed foods contain salt lots of it. You’d probably never guess, but even ice-cream comes with a boatload of salt. The reason? Everything tastes better when you add salt. Especially fat. But, as I explained about sugars above, a lot of fluids are extracted from the body to stabilize your blood sugar levels, and the same goes for salt.This is precisely why you often get thirsty when eating a bag of potato chips.
It is, therefore, wise to avoid salt-rich products. Your body is already struggling with the excess sugars.You can therefore partly avoid a dry mouth from diabetes by avoided added salt. Cook with as few processed products as possible. Avoid fast food and ready-mixed packets/bags of seasoning.
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What Are The Most Common Causes Of Dry Mouth
Dry mouth happens when something causes the salivary glands to produce less saliva. The most common causes of dry mouth are:
Hundreds of medications can reduce your bodys saliva production. If you check the information that comes with your medication, you may see dry mouth listed as a side effect.
Some medicines known to cause dry mouth include:
Other causes include:
- Dehydration: Sometimes, your body lacks enough fluids. For example, if youre sick, dont drink enough, or sweat a lot, you may get dehydrated.
- Mouth-breathing: You may breathe through your mouth at night, especially if you have a stuffy nose .
- Medical conditions: Dry mouth can be a sign of a more serious condition, such as diabetes, Alzheimers disease, stroke and Sjogrens syndrome. Sjogrens syndrome is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack the glands that produce moisture. It occurs mostly in women who have gone through menopause.
Assemble Your Diabetes Support Team
Managing diabetes is a lifelong challenge and one that will be much easier if you have a good support system around you. Make sure you have a great medical team, which should include your doctor, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist and possibly even a dietitian. You should also enlist your friends and family. They can help spot signs of diabetes that you might not notice immediately.
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Proper Dental Care And Medical Care Will Help Too
Seeing your dentist twice a year for checkups and cleaning will be essential. Some dental patients need even more attention from dentists. Another smart tip is to talk to your doctor about any medications that you are taking. Some medications prescribed to diabetics may trigger side effects, including dry mouth. It is possible that your doctor can adjust your medication in order to try and ease this symptom.
Now that you know more about dry mouth and diabetes, youll be ready to tackle the problem. The more than you do to alleviate dry mouth, the better. Effective dry mouth treatments help to safeguard good health.
What Are The Types Of Diabetes
Diabetes refers to a collection of diseases in which the human body has some sort of issue with insulin. In some instances of diabetes, the body doesnt make enough of the crucial hormone whereas, in other situations, the body cant appropriately use whatever insulin is created. In other cases, a combination of both occurs. Each of these situations inhibits the body from drawing sugar out of the bloodstream and distributing it to the cells. This results in high blood sugar levels that require medical attention and management.
We draw a majority of our energy from glucose, which is found in the bloodstream. Insulin helps manage this and, when unavailable, sugar continues to build up in the bloodstream, creating a wide variety of health problems and issues.
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Tips For A Healthy Mouth
- Aim for a target A1c of 7.0 percent or lower.
- Work with your healthcare team to improve your blood sugar levels.
- Drink more water! 8 to 10 glasses per day
- Brush your teeth at least twice per day.
- Floss daily to get leftover food bits out of your mouth, preventing gum disease and gingivitis.
- Visit your dentist twice per year for easy dental cleanings.
- Quit smoking, chewing tobacco, and drink less alcohol.
- Use a humidifier in your home during dryer months of the year.
Your mouth matters! Take good care of it and dont ignore symptoms like a constant dry mouth. Its simply a red flag that something else might be going on, and puts you at a greater risk for other issues.
Is Dry Mouth A Symptom Of Diabetes
According to a , dry mouth can be a warning sign of diabetes. However, although it is common in those with diabetes, it is not the only symptom.
A person may potentially experience several symptoms due to diabetes,
- tingling or numbness in the extremities, such as the hands or feet
- sores that do not heal
Although both type 1 and type 2 diabetes have similar symptoms, the NIDDK state that they do not develop in the same way.
They note that while people who develop type 1 diabetes usually experience a fast onset of symptoms, people living with type 2 diabetes tend to see a gradual onset of symptoms, which they may not notice until another complication develops, such as blurred vision.
People who experience dry mouth as a result of medication can ask a doctor about the possibility of switching medications. Managing any underlying conditions for example, keeping blood sugar levels within a safe range to control diabetes may also help.
Healthcare professionals can also prescribe medications to stimulate saliva production. These pilocarpine , which has a typical dosage of 5 milligrams three times a day, and cevimeline , which has a typical dosage of 30 mg three times a day.
A person will need to take these medications for 3 months to ensure that they are working.
A person can also try saliva substitutes that come in the form of gels, sprays, and lozenges. However, the authors of a note that these do not work reliably and that when they do, they only provide temporary relief.
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How Will I Know If I Have Mouth Problems From Diabetes
Check your mouth for signs of problems from diabetes. If you notice any problems, see your dentist right away. Some of the first signs of gum disease are swollen, tender, or bleeding gums. Sometimes you wont have any signs of gum disease. You may not know you have it until you have serious damage. Your best defense is to see your dentist twice a year for a cleaning and checkup.
Dry Mouth Solutions For People With Diabetes
The importance of dry mouth in diabetes lies not only in the discomfort it produces but also in the series of oral problems it can produce. For example, it increases the risk of suffering from cavities and infections, as well as periodontal disease.
Therefore, its essential to carry out preventive measures that avoid and prevent this type of pathology. First of all, people with diabetes must reinforce their oral hygiene by using mouthwashes and dental floss, in addition to brushing.
Furthermore, its best to avoid sugary and acidic liquids. Of course, staying hydrated is essential, but its best to do so by drinking water. Frequent visits to the dentist are also necessary since the professional must check and correct any alteration as soon as possible.
In addition, in some cases, doctors prescribe medications that stimulate salivary flow. In fact, they may even use artificial saliva. Of course, these measures are reserved for cases in which general measures fail to solve xerostomia.
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Dry Mouth May Also Have One Of These Other Underlying Causes
Of course, not everyone who experiences a dry mouth has diabetes. The symptom can be the result of dehydration, smoking, medication side effects, nasal congestion, radiation therapy, nerve damage, and more.
Regardless of its root cause, you should see a doctor if you’ve noticed that your symptoms persist over time. ” can range from being merely a nuisance to something that has a major impact on your general health and the health of your teeth and gums, as well as your appetite and enjoyment of food,” notes the Mayo Clinic.
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What Is Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is the sensation you may feel when you dont have enough saliva . Saliva is the fluid produced by the salivary glands in your mouth.
Dry mouth is a symptom of a condition, not a condition itself. Most often, its a side effect of certain medications, such as antihistamines or decongestants that you take for allergies or colds.
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Complications Of Type 2 Diabetes
Itâs important to get your blood sugar under control to avoid these serious conditions:
- Hypoglycemia. If your blood sugar falls below 70 milligrams per deciliter , it can lead to accidents, coma, and death.
- Hyperglycemia. Blood sugar that goes above 180 to 200 mg/dL can give you heart, nerve, kidney, and vision problems. Over the long term, it also can cause coma and death.
Over time, people with type 2 diabetes may have other health problems:
- Diabetic ketoacidosis. When you donât have enough insulin in your system, your blood sugar rises, and your body breaks down fat for energy. Toxic acids called ketones build up and spill into your urine. It can cause coma and death if you donât treat it.
- Heartand blood vessel diseases. People with diabetes are more likely to have conditions like high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which play a role in heart disease. Also, high blood sugar can damage your blood vessels and the nerves that control your heart.
- High blood pressure. Diabetes doubles your risk of high blood pressure, which makes you more likely to have heart disease or stroke.
- Nerve damage . This can cause tingling and numbness, most often in your feet and legs. But it can also affect your digestive system, urinary tract, blood vessels, and heart.
- Eyedamage. Diabetes can cause:
- Glaucoma, a buildup of pressure in your eyes
- Cataracts, a cloudiness of your lens
- Retinopathy, which is damage to the blood vessels in your eyes
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Xerostomia is an ominous sounding name for a fairly common condition suffered by approximately 20% of the population, one that most people tend to underestimate, a dry mouth. In essence, having a dry mouth means the body is not producing enough saliva, which helps the mouth stay clean while removing harmful bacteria that can cause cavities and other painful infections in the mouth. Saliva neutralizes the acid in the mouth and is an important part of the digestive process as it provides the moisture needed to chew and swallow food.
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Why Do People With Diabetes Experience Dry Mouth
12 October, 2020
People with diabetes, whether type 1 or type 2, often experience dry mouth, or xerostomia. The problem is that its not just a sensation it can have serious consequences at an oral level.
Xerostomia is associated with an increased risk of caries, infections, and periodontal disease. Different investigations affirm that more than 70% of people with diabetes experience dry mouth. Therefore, in this article, well explain why it happens and how to solve it.
Treatments For Dry Mouth Caused By Diabetes
Because of the harmful effects of having a dry mouth, it is of extreme importance to keep saliva flowing as efficiently as possible. There are several ways to make this happen, and the most important is to increase the intake of liquids throughout the day. A dry mouth can sometimes be the first sign of dehydration, so drinking more water is the best way to fight the root cause, which will then translate into a higher production of saliva, and a more balanced level of moisture in the mouth. Additionally, increasing the amount of fluids in the body can also help prevent sores in the mouth and chapped lips, as well as help maintain overall health.
Even though many diabetics have had relative success at fighting a dry mouth by drinking more liquids, it is not a long term solution, and as soon as the body has processed the fluids, the dry mouth returns. When this happens, a more direct approach to the problem is needed. Fortunately, there are several ways to help stimulate salivation, such as sugar-free gum, mouthwash, and mints. In most cases, those who use these methods have become disappointed after a few weeks, since they tend to be less effective as time goes by, but there is one dry mouth product on the market, OraCoat® XyliMelts®, that has brought relief to many dry mouths, from cancer patients to diabetics.
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What Are The Symptoms Of Dry Mouth
If youre having dry mouth problems, which are common in diabetics, but not exclusive to diabetics, you may notice that your mouth feels sticky. You might also have bad breath, whether youre aware of it or not. Mouth sores, cracked lips and dry throat may also occur. Additionally, speaking may be difficult. Some people with dry mouth have excessive thirst. Other symptoms to watch for include sore throat, a hoarse speaking voice, and dry, inflamed tongues. You may have some of these symptoms or most of them, as everyone is different.