Manifestation of diabetes mellitus in the oral cavity: stomatitis and glossitis in diabetics

Diabetes is a disease characterized by a chronic increase in blood sugar levels due to impaired insulin secretion or the development of insulin resistance. Diabetes mellitus can seriously affect the patient’s health, provoking the development of a whole range of concomitant diseases.

Especially high blood sugar affects the oral cavity, causing various diseases of the teeth, gums and mucous membranes. If you do not pay attention to this problem in a timely manner, then it can lead to severe lesions of the oral cavity and even loss of teeth.

For this reason, diabetics should strictly observe oral hygiene, regularly visit the dentist, and always monitor their blood sugar levels. In addition, diabetic patients need to know what diseases of the oral cavity they may face in order to recognize the disease in time and begin its treatment.

Diseases of the oral cavity in diabetes

Often, the manifestations of diabetes mellitus in the oral cavity become the first signs of this serious illness. Therefore, people with a tendency to high blood sugar should be careful about any changes in the condition of the teeth and gums.

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Regular self-diagnosis will help to identify diabetes mellitus at an early stage and promptly start treatment, preventing the development of more severe complications, such as damage to the cardiovascular and nervous systems, organs of vision and lower extremities.

The defeat of the oral cavity in diabetes mellitus occurs as a result of serious disturbances in the work of the body. So, in diabetes, the absorption of useful minerals deteriorates and the blood supply to the gums is impaired, which interferes with the supply of the necessary amount of calcium to the teeth and makes the tooth enamel thinner and more fragile.

In addition, with diabetes, sugar levels rise not only in the blood, but also in saliva, which promotes the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria and provokes severe inflammation in the oral cavity. And a noticeable decrease in the amount of saliva only enhances its negative effect.

With diabetes mellitus, the following oral diseases can develop:

  • Periodontitis;
  • stomatitis;
  • caries;
  • fungal infections;
  • lichen planus.


Periodontitis occurs when calculus builds up on the teeth, which causes severe inflammation of the gums and leads to bone destruction. The main causes of periodontitis in diabetes mellitus are impaired blood circulation in the gum tissue and nutritional deficiencies. Poor oral hygiene can also affect the development of this disease.

The fact is that tartar consists of food debris and waste products of bacteria. With infrequent or insufficient brushing of teeth, tartar hardens and grows in size, having a negative effect on the gums. As a result, soft tissues become inflamed, swollen and bleed.

Over time, the inflammation of the gums intensifies and turns into a purulent course, which provokes the destruction of the bone. As a result, the gums gradually descend, exposing first the neck, and then the roots of the teeth. This leads to the fact that the teeth begin to loosen and may even fall out of the tooth socket.

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Signs of periodontitis:

  1. Redness and swelling of the gums;
  2. Increased bleeding of the gums;
  3. Increased sensitivity of teeth to hot, cold and sour;
  4. Fetid odor from the mouth;
  5. Bad taste in the mouth;
  6. Purulent discharge from the gums;
  7. Change in taste sensations;
  8. The teeth look much longer than before. In later stages, their roots become visible;
  9. Large spaces appear between the teeth.

Patients especially often face periodontitis with poor diabetes compensation. In order to prevent the development of this disease, it is important to always monitor the glucose level and try to keep it at levels close to normal. At the first symptoms of periodontitis, you should immediately seek help from your dentist.


Stomatitis is an inflammatory disease of the mouth that can affect the gums, tongue, inner cheeks, lips, and palate. With stomatitis in a patient with diabetes, bubbles, ulcers or erosion form on the mucous membranes of the mouth. As the disease progresses, the person may experience severe pain that prevents them from eating, drinking, talking, or even sleeping.

The appearance of stomatitis in diabetic patients is due to a decrease in local immunity, as a result of which even a slight damage to the oral mucosa can lead to the formation of ulcers or erosion. Diabetic stomatitis is often infectious and can be caused by viruses, pathogenic bacteria, or fungi.

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Stomatitis in diabetics can also occur as a result of injury and damage. For example, the patient may inadvertently bite his tongue or scratch the gum with a dry crust of bread. In healthy people, such injuries heal very quickly, but in diabetics they often become inflamed and increase in size, capturing nearby tissues.

As a rule, stomatitis, even without special treatment, goes away after 14 days. But recovery can be significantly accelerated by finding out the cause of the ulcer in the oral cavity and eliminating it. For example, if stomatitis is formed as a result of damage to the soft tissues of the mouth with a sharp edge of a tooth or an unsuccessfully installed filling, then for recovery you need to visit a dentist and eliminate the defect.

In addition, during stomatitis, the patient must refrain from eating too spicy, hot, spicy and salty foods, as well as crackers and other foods that can damage the oral mucosa.

In addition, it is forbidden to eat citrus fruits, sour fruits and berries.


As noted above, in people with diabetes mellitus, saliva contains a large amount of sugar, which negatively affects dental health. The high glucose content creates favorable conditions for the reproduction of bacteria, which provoke damage to the tooth enamel.

Carious bacteria feed on sugar, including that which is dissolved in saliva. In this case, bacteria secrete metabolic products, which contain a large amount of acids – butyric, lactic and formic. These acids damage tooth enamel, making it porous and causing cavities.

In the future, the damage from the enamel passes to other tissues of the tooth, which eventually leads to its complete destruction. Untimely cured caries can cause severe complications, the most common of which are pulpitis and periodontitis.

These diseases are accompanied by severe inflammation of the gums and acute pain, and are treated only with surgery, and sometimes tooth extraction.


Candidiasis or thrush is a disease of the oral cavity caused by the yeast Candida Albicans. Most often, oral candidiasis affects infants and only rarely is diagnosed in adults.

But the changes in the oral cavity that occur in all patients with diabetes make them extremely susceptible to this disease. Such a widespread occurrence of candidiasis among diabetics is influenced by several factors at once – a weakening of immunity, an increase in the concentration of glucose in saliva, a decrease in the amount of saliva and constant dry mouth in diabetes.

Oral candidiasis is characterized by the appearance of white grains on the mucous membrane of the cheeks, tongue and lips, which subsequently actively grow and merge into a single milky-white plaque. At the same time, the tissues of the mouth turn red and become very inflamed, which causes severe painful sensations.

In severe cases, fungi can also affect the palate, gums and tonsils, making it difficult for the patient to speak, eat, drink fluids, and even swallow saliva. It is not uncommon for the infection to spread further and affect the tissues of the larynx, causing severe pain and sensations of a lump in the throat.

At the onset of the disease, the whitish plaque is easily removed, and underneath the reddened mucous membrane, covered with numerous ulcers, opens. They are formed under the influence of enzymes that secrete yeast fungi – the causative agents of the disease. Thus, they destroy the cells of the oral cavity and penetrate deeper and deeper into the soft tissues.

With candidiasis, the patient may have a noticeable increase in body temperature and there may be signs of intoxication of the body. This is a manifestation of the vital activity of fungi that poison the human body with their toxins.

A dentist is involved in the treatment of candidiasis. However, if a fungal infection has struck not only the oral cavity, but also the throat, then the patient will need to seek help from an infectious disease doctor.


The oral cavity in diabetes mellitus requires special care, since even minor injuries, food debris and tartar can lead to the development of serious diseases. This is important for any diabetic patient to remember, because with high sugar levels, even small inflammation of the mucous membrane will heal over time.

Any manifestations in the oral cavity of this serious ailment should be a signal for the patient about an unscheduled visit to the dentist. Only the timely detection of complications of diabetes mellitus and their correct treatment will avoid serious consequences.

It is also very important for diabetics to strictly control the level of glucose in the blood, since it is the sharp jumps in sugar that can provoke the development of many complications of diabetes, including diseases of the oral cavity.

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