Diabetes and dental health | How diabetes can affect the teeth

Posted on: 9 November 2015

Diabetes is a condition that alters the blood sugar levels in the body. Studies have proven that diabetes can increase the oral complications of the patient by a huge margin. Once these oral infections occur in diabetic patients, their effect is more severe than in average people due to their surging blood glucose levels. If you're diabetic, then there are a number of things you need to do so as to keep your dental hygiene in top notch condition. But first, how are diabetes and gums related?

Diabetes and gum diseases.

Diabetic patients normally have reduced immunity to infections. The gums are easily affected by infections, and you are at a higher risk of contracting gingivitis and other diseases. Additionally, a diabetic patient has increased sugar levels in the saliva, which attract bacteria that accelerate tooth decay. That can lead to a number of problems:


Gingivitis is caused by the formation of plaque in your mouth. This is a sticky film-like cover that accumulates below and above your gum line. If left there, the plaque hardens up into a substance called tartar that eventually causes the gums to swell up and bleed.


Periodontitis disease occurs when gingivitis is left untreated. It destroys the bone and tissues that support your teeth, causing the jawbone to part from them. That eventually loosens the teeth and causes them to fall out. This condition is more prominent among diabetics because they have a slower healing rate.


This is a fungal infection that affects the tongue and gums. The fungus is attracted by the high sugar levels in the mouth and makes a home out of it. This disease is normally characterised by a burning sensation in the mouth and tongue. White patches inside the mouth and cracking at the corner of the lips are also other symptoms of thrush.

Ways to care for your teeth.

Keep your sugar levels controlled.

This is the ultimate way to prevent such oral infections. The increased blood sugar levels cause most of the gum diseases, so being aware of your glucose levels is the first step. Strictly follow your doctor's instructions, and set up regular appointments. Take healthy meals like fruits and vegetables and eat smaller meals to avoid sudden spikes in blood sugar. Also have a regular exercise program.

Visit your dentist regularly

Your dentist needs to know that you've got diabetes too. Regular check-ups can detect any signs of dental infections way before they become worse. Schedule your appointments in the mornings because the glucose levels are normally in better control at these times.  For more information or to set up an appointment, search for 'dentist near me' and begin searching for dentists with experience working with diabetics.