Diabetes and Oral Health FAQ's

People with diabetes have special concerns when it comes to dental care. In fact, 1 in every 5 cases of total tooth loss is linked to this widespread health conditions. Let's go over some frequently asked questions about oral health and diabetes.

In addition to gum disease, what other oral health problems can develop for people with diabetes?

While gum disease is the most common problem, having diabetes also makes you prone to other mouth problems such as oral infections, thrush, poor healing and dry mouth. Remember, good dental care can result in a healthy mouth and a smile that will last a lifetime.

Can I get a dental implant to replace a missing tooth even if I have diabetes?
A number of studies have shown that people with diabetes can be good candidates for dental implants, but there are some concerns regarding dental implant treatment, which involves minor surgery. Wounds tend to heal more slowly in people with diabetes, who are also more infection-prone than those without diabetes. In diabetic individuals with poor glucose control, research has also shown that it takes longer for the bone to heal after implant placement. We will take these (and other) factors into account when planning your implant treatment. However, in many situations even poorly controlled diabetes does not necessarily preclude dental implant treatment.

Will a poorly controlled blood glucose level have any affect on developing gum disease?

Yes. High blood glucose levels make gum disease get worse. Like all infections, gum disease can be a factor in causing blood sugar to rise and make diabetes harder to control.

Do people with diabetes have a higher risk for gum disease?
Yes. Research shows that people with diabetes are more susceptible to periodontal (gum) disease, especially when their diabetes is poorly controlled. The reverse is also true: untreated periodontal disease can worsen blood sugar levels. So it’s important to manage both of these inflammatory conditions. If you notice the early signs of gum disease, such as inflamed or bleeding gums, please bring this to our attention. Early gum disease (gingivitis) is much easier to treat than more advanced forms—which can eventually lead to tooth loss.

If I have diabetes, how can I protect my oral health?
Keep doing your best to control your blood sugar levels with exercise and a healthy diet—and stick to an effective daily oral hygiene routine, which includes both brushing and flossing and coming in for regular dental checkups and cleanings. Make sure to let us know what medications you are taking and update us on any changes. If you notice any mouth sores, swelling or inflammation, bring this to our attention as soon as possible.

How often should a diabetic go to the Dentist?
Good oral hygiene is important for everyone and especially for people with diabetes. Be sure to see your dentist at least once every six months or more often if you have gingivitis or gum disease. Each diabetic is different, so talk with your dentist about your personal oral health.

How can I help prevent dental problems associated with diabetes?
First and foremost, control your blood glucose level. Then take good care of your teeth and gums, along with regular dental check-ups every six months.

Additional Oral Care Tips For Those With Diabetes

-Have a dental checkup every six months, or as often as indicated by a professional.
-Tell your dentist or hygienist that you have diabetes and any other medical condition.
-Brush for two minutes a day with a toothpaste with an antigingival/antibacterial ingredient to help prevent gingivitis and one that accepted by the American Dental Association.

Contact your dentist or hygienist if you experience any of these signs of gum disease:
  • Gums that bleed or are red, puffy or swollen, or sore 
  • Gums that have pulled away from the teeth 
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit together when you bite 
  • Pus that appears between your teeth and your gums 
  • Constant bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth
If you still have questions about diabetes and oral health, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.


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