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diabetes and oral health

Diabetes And Oral Health

Those living with diabetes know the importance of controlling their blood glucose levels. Diabetic patients often alter many areas of their life to control their diabetes. For example, areas such as their diet, become more active, and take medication to help control their blood glucose. However, having good oral health is another factor that can help with managing diabetes.

Oral Health Link

oral health link to diabetes

Diabetes affects the nerves, kidneys, eyes, heart, and other important organs and systems of the body. Similarly, it affects oral health and the mouth as well. Diabetic patients are at an increased risk of periodontal disease. Periodontal disease involves the breakdown of gum and bone tissue in the mouth. Infections in the mouth can also lead to the breakdown of bone and gum, leading to weakened support for the teeth. In health, teeth are anchored and secured by surrounding bone in the jaws. However, when oral health is affected by bone loss, the teeth become loose. Loose teeth are eventually removed if bone loss continues. In severe cases where gum and periodontal disease is left untreated, teeth may fall out on their own. Chewing may also become painful if diabetes is not properly controlled.

Other impacts to oral health and function caused by diabetes include:

  • Xerostomia – having a constantly dry mouth
  • Ulcers and soreness in the mouth
  • Infections of the mouth
  • Tooth decay or dental cavities

If the patient smokes cigarettes, these dental issues are worsened.

blood glucose testing

What Can Be Done?

The first step is to let your dentist or dental professional know about your completed and up to date health history. If you have been diagnosed with diabetes recently, it is important to let your dental professional know. Having this information will help to create a treatment plan that is individualized just for you. While controlling your blood glucose level is the most important factor when it comes to avoiding oral complications due to diabetes, good oral hygiene plays a part as well. As a result, regular brushing and flossing have the biggest impact on oral health. Routine dental checkups are also important to monitor your oral health and to check the effectiveness of your oral hygiene routine. There may be a need for alternative cleaning tools or aids if significant bone and gum loss have already occurred.

woman flossing her teeth

Talk to your dentist and doctor about how you can effectively manage your diabetes. With proper monitoring and preventive care, a high quality of life is achievable.


Located in Brampton, Ontario Dr. Joseph Salvaggio has been practicing general, cosmetic, and implant dentistry for over 20 years. He enjoys interacting with his patients and helping to restore their oral health for better overall health as well. Meeting new patients, interacting and educating them is one of Dr. Salvaggio’s biggest joys. We encourage you to read our reviews or call us with any dental questions you have. We look forward to speaking with you and meeting you soon.

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