Diabetes mellitus is a metabolic disorder of multiple etiologies characterized by chronic hyperglycemia with impairment of carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism resulting from defects in insulin secretion, insulin action, or both. The long-term consequences of diabetes include damage and dysfunction of several organs that can lead to progressive development of chronic specific complications like retinopathy, nephropathy and neuropathy. People with diabetes are also at increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
long standing hyperglycemia can also be associated with buccal alterations such as:
• periodontal disease
• alterations in salivary glands
• greater tendency to infections
• tongue alterations: coated tongue
• white spots due to demineralization in the teeth
• lichen planus
Patients with diabetes are more prone to develop infections and abscesses in the oral cavity. This is favored by the presence of hyperglycemia, lower salivary flow and alterations in the composition of saliva, through modifications in its content of antimicrobial proteins like lactoferrin, lysozyme and lactoperoxidase.
The most frequent opportunistic infections found in patients with diabetes is buccal candidiasis.
diabetes and oral health, an overview 2003