Reduced Salivary Flow
Patients with diabetes may also experience dry mouth as a result of reduced saliva. Neuropathy and certain medications may be the cause of reduced salivary flow. Finney says that saliva is important to wash residue off teeth and gums and prevent tooth and gum disease. Ask your dentist about products that moisten the mouth or increase saliva.
Drinking lots of fluids may help alleviate the problem and there are products available that can help keep the mouth moist.
It's All Connected
The development of periodontal disease may reflect the presence of other problems related to blood glucose control such as retinopathy.
"Retinopathy and dental problems are closely related. If you look at a population that is having eye problems, that same population is likely to have dental problems. If a person is diagnosed with retinopathy, they should make sure that their mouth is being examined and the gums are healthy. Conversely, if there is serious gum disease there may be other diabetic complications taking place in the body," says Finney.
Problems that begin elsewhere in the body should also provide clues for health care professionals. The presence of microalbuminuria and neuropathy are signals to check the mouth for potential complications.