Diabetes and Gum Disease

Diabetes can cause serious problems in your mouth.

You can do something about it. If you have diabetes, take care of your mouth. People with diabetes are at higher risk for developing infections, including gum disease. Gum disease can damage the gums and bones that hold your teeth in place. Some people with serious gum disease lose their teeth. Gum disease may also make it hard to control your blood sugar.

Do you have gum disease?

If you have one or more of the symptoms, you may have periodontal (gum) disease.

  • Bad breath
  • Bleeding, red, puffy and tender gums
  • Change in the way your teeth bite together
  • Loose or separating teeth
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth
  • Pus between the gum and tooth

If you have diabetes, follow these steps to a healthy mouth:

Control your blood sugar. If your diabetes is not under control, you are more likely to develop problems in your mouth.

Brush and floss every day. Removing plaque can save your teeth – a very good reason to take care of your teeth and gums.

Visit your dentist. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes.

Quit smoking. Smoking makes gum disease worse. Your physician or dentist can help you quit.

Check your mouth regularly. Check for any problems such as bleeding gums, dryness, soreness, white patches or a bad taste in the mouth.