Diabetes is a common condition that affects around five million people in the UK, and 90 per cent of cases are caused by type 2 diabetes. The condition could be caused by the body not producing enough of the hormone insulin, or the body not reacting to insulin. Without enough of the hormone, the body struggles to convert sugar in the blood into useable energy. You could be at risk of diabetes symptoms if you develop loose teeth, it’s been claimed.
Loose teeth could be a sign of uncontrolled high blood sugar, according to Bupa Dental Care’s Clinical Director, Steve Preddy.
A wiggly tooth is usually a red flag for dentists, and it may require immediate attention.
If you find one of your teeth is easy to move about, you should consider speaking to a doctor about your diabetes risk, he said.
“Patients suffering from gum disease, bleeding gums and loose teeth could be displaying key symptoms of diabetes,” said Preddy.
“Of course, these issues can develop without being linked to diabetes at all but, as dentists, it is important for us to raise this with our patients and recommend they consult their GP for further testing.
“However, current NHS stats suggest one in 10 people haven’t been to a dentist for more than five years, so our ability to spot potential symptoms and look after the wider health of our patients is reduced.
“It’s important to go for regular check-ups as you never know what your dentist could spot.
“Excessive consumption of sweet, sugary, and acidic food and drink has a detrimental impact on a person’s teeth – as well as their wider body. So when we see a patient suffering from some or all of these conditions, alarm bells start to ring.”
You could also find signs of diabetes in your mouth by looking out for red or swollen gums.
Swollen gums could be a sign of gum disease, or periodontitis, which has been linked to diabetes.
Other warning signs of gum disease include bad breath, an unpleasant taste in your mouth, or pus developing underneath your gums.
Many people may have diabetes without even knowing it, because diabetes symptoms don’t necessarily make you feel unwell.
But the most common diabetes symptoms include passing more urine than normal, extreme fatigue, and having an unquenchable thirst.
You may also have cuts or wounds that take longer to heal than normal, or even blurred vision.
You should speak to a doctor if you’re worried about the warning signs of diabetes, or if you think you may be at risk.
A quick blood test should be enough to reveal whether you have diabetes, or not.