Diabetes and Oral Health- What’s the Connection?

April 21st, 2016

If you have diabetes, it’s important to take good care of your teeth and gums. Why? Gum disease can make it harder to control your diabetes. So, what’s the connection? Research suggests that the relationship between gum disease and diabetes is a two-way street.

  • Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection of the gum and bone. People with uncontrolled blood sugar have a tendency to develop periodontal diseases more often and more severely. They’re also more likely to lose more teeth than people who have their diabetes under control.
  • If you do have diabetes, tell your dentist. Be sure to get regular checkups at least every six months.
  • Because diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infection, the gums are likely to be affected.

How to manage your oral health if you have diabetes?

  • Get your teeth and gums cleaned and checked regularly.
  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush. Pay special attention to the gum line.
  • Floss at least once a day.
  • Call your dentist if you have red, sore or bleeding gums or a sore tooth.
  • Follow your doctor’s dietary recommendations.
  • Don’t forget to take your medicine.
  • Try to exercise at least 30 minutes most days. Consult with your doctor first.
  • Check and record your blood glucose each day.

For more information on how your oral health is connected to your overall health, visit DeltaDentalMN.org!