Diabetes adversely affects oral health, increasing the risk of gingivitis and other oral infections. Gingivitis is a major cause of tooth loss and pain that can affect oral intake. Saliva flow protects against dental caries but age, drugs and diseases can reduce this. Poor oral and dental health is linked with chewing difficulties that can cause malnutrition, poor general health and reduced quality of life (45,46).
Population changes in oral health and dentition over the last 30 years have resulted in fewer older people with no natural teeth - declining from 37% in 1968 to 12% in 1998 and predicted to fall to around 2% by 2018 (47). There are dietary implications for those with no teeth or partial dentures, as difficulties in eating can lead to a reduction in the variety of food choices and an overall reduction in nutrient intake. A 15% drop in energy intake has been reported in free-living elderly people without any natural teeth. Full dentures, in particular, can lead to a reduction in food consumption due to the mouth feeling full, a greater time needed to eat causing embarrassment and changes in food flavours (48).
All patients need to be encouraged to maintain good oral hygiene, with special attention given to those with dry mouths or who eat more frequently due to a small appetite or, in the case of a person with Type 1 diabetes, due to the need for frequent snacks. Dental advice is required for patients with chewing difficulties, pain and other oral health problems. However, it should be recognised that elderly patients may have mobility problems getting to a dentist. In addition, many elderly patients have perceived barriers to dental care, the major ones being fear and costs (47).
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All you need is a proper diet of fresh fruits and vegetables and get plenty of exercise and you'll be fine. Ever heard those words from your doctor? If that's all heshe recommends then you're missing out an important ingredient for health that he's not telling you. Fact is that you can adhere to the strictest diet, watch everything you eat and get the exercise of amarathon runner and still come down with diabetic complications. Diet, exercise and standard drug treatments simply aren't enough to help keep your diabetes under control.