For the next few months Dr.Silberman will be answering one question a week from our patients and Facebook followers! The first selected question was from Debbie H.
I just turned 60 years old. My dad died at 57 years old of a stroke. He found out at that time he was diabetic. My question is I know that there are a range of health problems that begin in the mouth such as vitamin deficiencies or osteoporosis; changes maybe in gums or possibly an indicator of diabetes. What symptoms should be brought to my attention?
Answer from Dr. Silberman:
Hello Debbie H.,
First of all I would like to thank you for submitting your question. I would say this is putting the cart before the horse. Given a history of diabetes in the family, I would not look for symptoms orally to diagnose diabetes. I would recommend getting tested for diabetes and then, subsequent to the diagnosis, evaluate orally. There are many oral conditions that can worsen in the presence of Diabetes. Decay rate, gum disease, dry mouth, slower healing are all possible complications to Diabetes in the oral cavity. Oral fungal infections may also occur, and changes in taste can be a result of Diabetes. The other conditions you referenced, osteoporosis and vitamin deficiency, also can have oral symptoms, but the diagnosis, as with Diabetes, should not be made on oral examination alone. Further testing is necessary. I hope that answers your question. If you need further clarification, feel free to write back. Or if you have another question, I’m here.
Paul Silberman, D.D.S.
**If you have a dental question, send it to Barbara@SilbermanDental.com or ask us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SilbermanDental). Each week Doc will answer one of the questions submitted. If your question is selected for our blog, we will send you a $50.00 Visa gift card to use on any item anywhere Visa is accepted. Ask more than one question if you wish as there is no limit to how many gift cards you can receive from Doc for questions he selects for the blog. You do not have to be a patient to ask a question. If you follow us on Facebook and ask a question you may receive the $50.00 gift certificate.