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  • Writer's pictureCelso Soares

Diabetes and oral health


Diabetes, a disease characterized by increased blood glucose, affects more than 8% of the Brazilian population, according to the latest survey carried out by the Ministry of Health. Faced with this scenario, professionals in the area are increasingly alert to identify and treat people with the problem, including dentists.

According to the medical literature, patients with diabetes are at high risk of developing oral problems due to uncontrolled blood glucose and interference with salivary production. In this way they are more susceptible to infections.

Gingivitis and periodontitis, the most advanced stage of gum inflammation, including bone loss, are the most common problems among diabetics. Periodontal diseases can alter the glycemic level in these patients, although these changes are not susceptible only to diabetics.

Disturbances in wound healing and physiological changes, which reduce immune capacity, increasing the likelihood of infections, are also observed in patients with diabetes.

This condition requires diabetics to be treated in an interdisciplinary manner. Therefore, all health professionals involved must talk to provide the best possible quality of life.


Special care before treatment


Before performing dental procedures, it is recommended to request some laboratory tests such as blood glucose, blood count, glycated hemoglobin and radiography. They will indicate whether the diabetic has any decompensation. If he is decompensated, the professional will assess whether there is an immediate need for care and also on the most suitable environment for treatment, between outpatient clinic or hospital.


When the patient doesn't know he has diabetes...


The Dental Surgeon can help identify a diabetic patient. For this purpose, the professional must cross-check the data collected in the anamnesis (interview) with those obtained through clinical analysis, in addition to requesting laboratory tests.

During the evaluation, it is important for the dental professional to consider changes such as hypoplasia (defective tissue development) and enamel hypocalcification, decreased flow, increased acidity and salivary viscosity.

Other discomforts reported by patients such as dry mouth, burning sensation, presence of canker sores, lesions, ketonic breath, nausea and vomiting should also not be ignored in the consultation. After all, the indication for a consultation with the endocrinologist will be very important.


To keep health up to date


To avoid the progression and aggressiveness of periodontal disease, common in diabetics, the recommendation is to redouble hygiene care using a brush, toothpaste and dental floss. Preventive visits to the dentist will also help control oral health and the possible decompensation of diabetes. Therefore, every patient with systemic impairment, such as diabetes, should have a routine of preventive visits to the dental office to ensure overall health.


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