Diabetes and Dry Mouth

Diabetes and Dry Mouth

Credit: Original article published on Very Well Health

Dry mouth or xerostomia can be an uncomfortable side effect of diabetes that can lead to complications such as gingivitis over the long term if left untreated. Since saliva protects your teeth—helping to prevent decay and improving digestion and the ability to taste food—it’s essential to get it treated.

Sometimes dry mouth is a symptom of undiagnosed or improperly treated diabetes. Knowing the symptoms, causes, and treatments of dry mouth can help you address the issue with your doctor for the best outcome.

Dry Mouth Symptoms

Dry mouth is a condition in which the salivary glands in your mouth do not make enough saliva. The lack of saliva leaves your mouth feeling uncomfortably dry. Symptoms include:1

  • Bad breath
  • Burning feeling in the mouth
  • Difficulties with eating, chewing, swallowing, or speaking
  • Dry, cracked lips
  • Mouth feels dry nearly all the time
  • Painful mouth
  • Sores or infections in the mouth
  • Tongue is rough and feels dry

High Blood Sugar

High blood sugar or hyperglycemia is common in people with diabetes mellitus (type 1 and 2) that isn’t well managed. High glucose levels can cause the symptom of dry mouth, although doctors aren’t quite sure why.

Other oral symptoms of high blood sugar are

  • Thrush, an overgrowth of yeast
  • Increased thirst

Fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches may also occur.

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