Diabetes is a common condition that affects more than four million people in the UK, and 90 percent of all cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. You could be at risk of high blood sugar if you develop a particularly dry mouth, it’s been claimed.
Type 2 diabetes could be caused by the body not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin.
Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into usable energy.
It’s crucial, if you think you may have diabetes, to speak to a doctor as soon as possible.
One of the key warning signs of diabetes is having an unusually dry mouth.
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Diabetes patients are more susceptible to having a dry mouth, according to medical website Diabetes.co.uk.
That’s because persistent high blood sugar in the mouth can slow down the production of saliva.
Dry mouth can subsequently lead to a number of other conditions, including gingivitis and oral thrush.
That’s why diabetes patients are also more likely to develop yeast infections, it said.
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“Dry mouth, clinically known as xerostomia, is the term used to describe a lack of saliva in the mouth,” said the medical website.
“Saliva helps to control levels of bacteria as well as balancing and washing away acid around teeth and gums.
“People with diabetes are more susceptible to dry mouth and yeast infections such as thrush because of high glucose levels in their blood and saliva.
“Keep your blood sugars within the recommended range [to reduce the effect of dry mouth].”
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Dry mouth can also lead to irritation at the corners of the mouth, it added.
Oral thrush is also more likely in diabetes patients. Signs of a yeast or fungal infection include developing white patches in the mouth, or having a particularly red tongue.
If you have a dry mouth, you should aim to keep hydrated and carry water with you.
Some mouthwash products may help to alleviate the symptoms of dry mouth.
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Many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because the signs and symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
Common diabetes symptoms include feeling very tired, having an unquenchable thirst, and passing more urine than normal.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the warning signs or symptoms of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.
Diagnosing the condition early is very important, because patients are more at risk of some deadly complications, including heart disease and strokes.
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