This November during National Diabetes Month, healthcare professionals across the country are working to bring awareness to signs and symptoms of the disease. Because there is no vaccine or miracle drug for diabetes, it is crucial that attention is brought to the impact that diabetes has on quality of life. As those with diabetes and their family know, there is more to the disease than pricking your finger or taking insulin. It is important that all aspects of physical well-being are addressed to help those living with diabetes.
Is Dry Mouth A Symptom of Diabetes?
Anybody can get a dry mouth. For those suffering from type 1 and type 2 diabetes, it can be a reoccurring symptom. Particularly when a person’s blood sugar level is too high. This symptom is referred to as xerostomia.
Diabetes and Oral Health
Dry mouth occurs when not enough saliva is produced. It is more than just the feeling of being thirsty. It is painful, uncomfortable, and could lead to further complications. Some of these further complications include:
- Cracked/Chapped Lips
- Trouble Speaking
- Pain in Mouth
- Sores in Mouth
- Difficulties Swallowing or Chewing Food
For some, dry mouth is a minor inconvenience dealt with every once in a while. For those who deal with it on a regular basis, like people with diabetes, this minor inconvenience can be problematic and impact their quality of life heavily.
How to Relieve Dry Mouth?
Before things get that serious, there are steps that you can take to relieve your dry mouth. The best advice for relieving your dry mouth is to address the root cause: high blood sugar. Make sure that you are managing your blood sugar levels accordingly. Be mindful of your sugar intake through food and beverages. Combining your diet with high fiber foods, healthy fats and proteins can make a huge impact if you haven’t already been doing so. If you are struggling to maintain a healthy diet while dealing with diabetes be sure to reach out to your physician to better address the problem.
Keep in mind that having high blood sugar is not the only cause of a dry mouth from diabetes. If you are maintaining your sugar and eating a healthy diet, yet are still dealing with dry mouth then it could be a symptom of your diabetes medicines. To help combat these issues of dry mouth one of the following might be a more suitable solution for you:
- Chewing sugar-free gum or candy
- Sipping water regularly - this will also help with cleansing a dry mouth of harmful bacteria
- Avoid caffeine, tobacco and alcohol - all of which make a dry mouth worse
- Using salvia-promoting products
- Using alcohol-free mouthwash
- Products that contain xylitol such as ACT or Biotene
Maintaining good oral care is essential to managing your oral health when it comes to having dry mouth with diabetes. It is essential that you regularly talk with your doctors and dentist. Regular dental check-ups twice a year ensure that any complications from diabetes like dry mouth are treated as soon as possible.
Though not always apparent for those thinking of maintaining their quality of life when it comes to diabetes this step is essential. By making key lifestyle changes, using effective products, and maintaining active communication with one’s healthcare providers, dry mouth is treatable.
Take control of your diabetes
For many diabetics, having a dry mouth is another part of living with diabetes. But, as with other parts of diabetes, it can be managed. Nobody should have to deal with pain in the mouth or struggle to chew, talking or swallowing. Nobody should feel a loss of dignity because they happen to live with a disease. So, take the steps needed to improve your quality of life.