Anyone who has ever had dry mouth because of medication or even mild dehydration is aware of what an uncomfortable feeling it is. For diabetics, however, dry mouth is often a persistent problem.
Why does dry mouth happen?
Diabetic dry mouth happens as a result of dehydration. When your blood sugar is high, your kidneys try to fight this by filtering out the extra sugar in your bloodstream, pulling fluids with it. The higher your blood sugar, the more dehydrated you get, and the more persistent your dry mouth becomes.
Unfortunately, since saliva helps to fight both tooth decay and gum disease, a dry mouth will also cause more dental problems. This in turn causes even higher blood sugar as the body attempts to fight the infection, which worsens the dry mouth to worsen, and the entire situation begins to spiral out of control.
How to get rid of diabetic dry mouth
Because of dry mouth’s negative impact on dental health and, as a result, on the entire body, it’s vital to try to resolve the problem. Luckily, there are several ways to combat dry mouth in diabetics.
- Better control: Of course, the first approach should be to strive for better control over blood sugar. Ensure you’re taking your medication as directed, check your blood sugar frequently and take insulin if instructed to do so by your doctor. The better your control, the fewer problems you will have with dry mouth.
- More fluids: If you’re struggling with diabetic dry mouth, chances are you are dehydrated. Increasing your fluid intake can temporarily resolve the issue, depending on the level of your blood sugar and the severity of your dehydration. Keep in mind that sugary drinks are bad for both your teeth and your blood sugar, so your best bet is plain water. Consider carrying a water bottle with you throughout your day.
- Candy or gum: Another approach to dealing with dry mouth and diabetes is to find a way to stimulate saliva production. Hard candy can help with this, but may raise your blood sugar even more. Sugar-free gum is another way to stimulate saliva production and relieve symptoms of dry mouth, although chewing all the time can get tiresome.
- Dental products: If you have tried all of the above with no significant results, it may be time to try one of the many dental products on the market that are made specifically for dealing with dry mouth and diabetes. These solutions are designed to relieve the symptoms of dry mouth better than additional fluids, candy or gum, and offer longer-lasting results.
Dry mouth and diabetes can be difficult to live with, as they influence one another and impact your overall well-being. For the sake of your comfort as well as your health, it’s important to control both conditions as well as possible. If diabetic dry mouth is a frequent problem for you, be sure to talk to your doctor and your dentist about your options.