Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Adults and children with poorly controlled diabetes have a higher risk of tooth problems and gum disease than people without diabetes.


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Visit your dentist every 6 months for advice about how to keep your teeth and gums healthy.


The most common oral health problems affecting people with diabetes are


  • Tooth decay
  • Fungal infections such as thrush
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Dry, burning mouth
  • Gum disease
  • Gum abscesses

How does a high blood glucose level affect my teeth and gums?

  • A narrowing of blood vessels can reduce blood supply to the gums therefore increasing the risk of infection.
  • A decrease in saliva causing dry mouth and fungal infections
  • A gathering of sugars in the gingival fluid can increase the risk of developing tooth decay and cavities.

What causes gum disease?

Our mouths are full of bacteria. These bacteria, along with mucus and other particles, constantly form a sticky, colorless “plaque” on teeth. Brushing and flossing help get rid of plaque. Plaque that is not removed can harden and form “tartar” that brushing doesn’t clean. Only a professional cleaning by a dentist or dental hygienist can remove tartar.


Symptoms of gum disease


  • Bad breath
  • Pus between teeth and gums
  • Spaces coming up between your teeth
  • Red, swollen, tender , bleeding gums
  • Gums that are loose and pull away from the tooth

Things to do


  • Control your blood glucose levels
  • Quit smoking
  • Visit your dentist regularly
  • Avoid having a dry mouth by drinking plenty of water and chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
  • Clean your teeth and gums twice a day How to brush and floss your teeth?
  • Use dental floss or interdental brushes everyday to clean between your teeth
  • If you have full or partial dentures clean them daily and remove them each night before sleep.