prev next front |1 |2 |3 |4 |5 |6 |7 |8 |9 |10 |11 |12 |13 |14 |15 |16 |17 |18 |19 |20 |21 |22 |23 |24 |25 |26 |27 |28 |29 |30 |31 |32 |33 |34 |review
Oral Manifestations of Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: (cont'd)

Oral manifestations of diabetes mellitus have been widely described in the literature and primarily focus on an increased prevalence and severity of periodontitis. In addition to periodontitis, however, uncontrolled or poorly controlled diabetics are at an increased risk for a variety of other oral complications including:

  • Burning mouth syndrome: a diminished production of saliva causes a generalized dehydration of the oral mucosal tissues. The resulting dry mouth (xerostomia) and the tongue may have a burning sensation. An enlargement of the tongue is not uncommon.
  • Candidal infections: candidal and/or bacterial infections are not uncommon and occur as chronic atrophic candidiasis of the palate or as chronic unilateral or bilateral angular cheilitis. The oral infections in undiagnosed and/or uncontrolled diabetic patients usually do not fully respond to appropriate therapy with antifungal agents or topical antibiotics.
  • Dental caries: It has been proposed in the literature that with an increased blood sugar level there is a concomitant increase in the glucose content of serous saliva of the parotid gland. This viscous fluid coupled with a soft diet due to the adverse oral condition may well cause an increase in dental caries.

Dental public health education and prevention programs to promote a satisfactory level of personal control of diabetes mellitus and personal oral hygiene should be directed at populations most susceptible to Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus, of which the most consistently identified are the Mexican-American population of the American Southwest, particularly the people of the United States-Mexico Border.