Diabetes

How Does Diabetes Affect your Oral Health?

People who have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know diabetes can also cause problems in your mouth?

People with diabetes are at special risk for periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Smoking makes these problems worse.

What can I do?

shutterstock_78149230Good blood glucose control is key to controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood glucose control get gum disease more often and more severely than people whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups and good blood glucose control are the best defense against the oral complications of diabetes.

To learn more about diabetes and oral health, please see:

Publications

Publications in Spanish

Other Publications

Clinical Trials

  • Diabetes and Teeth
  • Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

News Releases and Articles

Other Government Information

  • MedlinePlus: Diabetes and Oral Health
  • The National Library of Medicine’s compilation of links to government, professional and non-profit/voluntary organizations with information on diabetes and oral health.
  • Dental Visits Among Dentate Adults with Diabetes — United States, 1999 and 2004
  • This report, which was released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, provides state-by-state estimates from the 2004 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System on the percentage of dentate adults with diabetes who reported having a dental visit during the previous year.

Related Oral Health Topics

NOTE: PDF documents require the free Adobe Reader.