Does Diabetes Cause Dry Mouth?

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How does diabetes cause dry mouth?

High blood sugar in diabetes can set up a domino effect of sorts within the body. As mentioned before, diabetes can cause frequent urination. This can cause your body to lose a lot of fluid and you are at high risk of dehydration.


If you have dehydration, you are vulnerable to have dry mouth because there is a lack of liquid to make saliva. Consequently, you feel thirsty more often (another symptom of diabetes).

Dry mouth can be a starting point for other problems to occur. Diabetes can affect the mouth that includes tissues of the mouth (such as the inside of cheeks, bottom-roof of the mouth, and tongue), gums, teeth, and even jaw.

Glucose (sugar) is present in the saliva. If you have diabetes and the disease is poorly controlled, high sugar levels in the saliva can be a friendlier place for plaque to grow. The excessive growth of plaque can be bad for your teeth (causing tooth decay) and gum (causing gum diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis).

How to cope with the problem?

The following are some helpful tips to cope with dry mouth due to diabetes:

  1. If you have diabetes, it’s important to follow the treatment plan as well in order to make your blood sugar level as normal as possible. More frequent episodes of high blood sugar you have, the greater chance of the complications from the disease (such as dry mouth) to occur.
  2. The use of sugar-free candies or sugar-free gum may help. Chew it to help keep your mouth moist. But don’t consume it in large amounts, instead consume it wisely! It usually contains xylitol, and if you consume it too much, you may experience stomach cramps or diarrhea.
  3. Stay close with a well-balanced diet that you & your dietitian /doctor have worked out. Appropriate diet is so essential to control diabetes!
  4. Dry mouth may cause difficulty chewing and swallowing. To help cope with these problems, try drinking water during meals!
  5. Use your nose instead of your mouth for breathing! If you breathe through mouth (typically occur when you snore during sleep), this can worsen your dry mouth. If you have a problem with snoring, seek treatment!
  6. Clean your teeth regularly by brushing them twice a day with toothpaste (especially one that contains fluoride to help provide extra protection against tooth decay). And make sure that there is no any foam of toothpaste left in the mouth!
  7. Since low humidity can make the problem get worse, the use of humidifier may help especially during winter.
  8. Avoid smoking, caffeine, alcohol, acidic foods, and foods rich in sugar!

Dry mouth without known reason should not be ignored! If you have diabetes, it can be a first sign before other mouth problems occur. However sometime there are no any symptoms of the problem until it gets worse and causes serious damage.

Check your mouth regularly! You should make an appointment with a dentist at least twice a year. If you notice unusual symptoms, see a doctor promptly!

Citations /references:


All of these references accessed on August 2014


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