How does diabetes affect my saliva production and oral health?

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Diabetes can cause a decrease in saliva production in the mouth. This often leads to dry mouth and side effects like infections, cavities, soreness and ulcers. Fungal infections, in particular, result from decreased saliva production as fungus often thrives in this kind of environment.

Dry mouth is also a problem for people who take antihistamines for allergies or colds. Dry mouth increases the risk of tooth decay. Saliva not only cleanses the teeth and makes swallowing and chewing easier, but it contains enzymes and minerals like fluoride that help prevent tooth decay. There are no easy answers for dry mouth, but the use of fluoride treatments and mouthwashes may help people with dry mouth have more protection from tooth decay. Also, chewing sugarless gum or drinking more liquids each day can give some relief from dry mouth.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.