Hyperglycemia in children can be the result of infections, stress, high-sugar foods and drinks, certain medications, and even diabetes. Pediatric hyperglycemia refers to abnormally high blood sugar levels, and it can cause increased sweating, shaking, confusion, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Your child's pediatric dentist may also notice the following oral signs of hyperglycemia during a routine dental examination.
Oral candida, or thrush, is a type of fungal infection that can cause white patches on the insides of the cheeks, tongue, and throat. The patches can bleed if they are scratched or scraped, and they may also cause burning or irritation sensations.
The patches may resemble cottage cheese, and in some cases, the skin underneath the patches may appear bright red. Thrush is also known as candidiasis, and it can be caused by poor immunity, antibiotics, and hyperglycemia. If your child's dental examination reveals signs of thrush, the pediatric dentist will suggest that you take your child to his or her physician to determine if the infection is caused by diabetes. In the meantime, the dentist may prescribe an antifungal mouthwash or oral medication to help clear the infection.
When your child's blood sugar levels are too high, his or her immune function may be poor. Because of this, the mouth may be more susceptible to both fungal and bacterial infections of the gums, and gingivitis. This can cause gingival inflammation, pain, and excessive bleeding during dental examinations.
If your child's gums bleed when the dentist gently probes them with a dental instrument, the cause will need to be uncovered. If your child's gum condition fails to improve despite a regular routine of brushing and flossing, the dentist may recommend a medical checkup to rule out hyperglycemia.
Increasing your child's dietary intake of vitamin C-rich foods may help enhance oral health, which may reduce the risk of gum infections, gingivitis, and bleeding. If the pediatrician determines that your child has elevated blood sugar levels, they may prescribe anti-glycemic medications and a therapeutic diet.
The treatment plan will be based on the cause of the hyperglycemia. It is important to note, that while diabetes is one of the most common causes of elevated blood sugar levels, your child's hyperglycemia may be caused by something less serious.
If the pediatric dentist notices white patches or bleeding gums during your child's oral examination, make an appointment with the physician. When you work with both the dentist and primary care physician, your child will be less likely to develop hyperglycemia-related complications such as a higher risk for kidney disease, vision problems, circulation disorders, and cardiovascular disease.
For more information, reach out to a local pediatric dentist.