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Dental Health and Diabetes

Did you know that people who have diabetes have a greater risk of developing gum disease, tooth decay, fungal disease, and other problems with oral (mouth) health? Starting and maintaining a regular dental care routine is part of a comprehensive diabetes care plan. You can make sure your mouth stays healthy and pain-free with these simple steps:

Control blood glucose (sugar)

Patients who don’t properly control their blood glucose levels are more likely to develop periodontal (gum) disease and can lose more teeth than someone whose diabetes is well-controlled. Talk with your endocrinologist about what the right target is for you.

Brush and floss regularly

  • Use a soft bristled toothbrush and replace it every 3 months.
  • Brush for at least 3 minutes with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Brush at least 2 times a day, after each meal if you can.
  • Floss at least once a day.

See a dental professional

  • Have your teeth cleaned by the dentist at least two times a year.
  • See a periodontist (gum doctor) at least once a year.
  • Tell both the dentist and periodontist that you have diabetes, if your blood glucose levels are controlled, and any medications you are taking.

Call your dentist if you notice any of the following:

  • Bleeding, red, or sore gums
  • Gums that are pulling away from teeth
  • Bad breath for a long period of time
  • Loose or separating adult teeth
  • A change in the way you bite
  • Any mouth pain

Page last updated: November 07, 2019