How Can Diabetes Affect My Oral Health?

Uncontrolled diabetes where the level of sugar circulating in the blood is higher than normal, causes damage throughout the body including the mouth.

Too much glucose in your blood from diabetes can cause pain, infection and other problems in your mouth including, dry mouth, burning mouth, oral thrush and periodontal (gum) disease.

A person is three times more likely to develop severe gum disease if they have type 2 diabetes. Untreated gum disease may make blood sugar levels more difficult to control and patients who have comprehensive gum treatment can experience improved diabetic control.

Untreated periodontitis (gum) disease is a chronic inflammatory disease process that releases enzyme like chemicals which may send harmful signals to other parts of the body. Coronary heart disease, preterm low birth weight babies (PTLB), respiratory infections and diabetes, are examples of health conditions that may be affected by the presence of untreated periodontal (gum) disease.

Oral Health tips for people with diabetes

  • Maintain good blood glucose control. This is key to preventing mouth problems.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking worsens problems including gum disease.
  • Brush and floss daily and attend your dentist regularly to aid diabetes control.
  • Schedule your dentist appointment after a main meal.
  • Inform your dentist of all medications you are taking.
  • Gum disease may affect your diabetes control.