How Does Diabetes Affect Your Teeth and Gums?

If you have diabetes, make sure you take care of your mouth. People with diabetes are at risk for mouth infections, especially periodontal (gum) disease. Periodontal disease can damage the gum and bone that hold your teeth in place and may lead to painful chewing problems. Some people with serious gum lose their teeth. Periodontal disease may also make it hard to control your blood glucose.

Other potential problems due to diabetes include dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush. Dry mouth happens when you do not have enough saliva. Diabetes may also cause the glucose level in your saliva to increase. Together, these problems may lead to thrush, which causes painful white patches in the mouth.

The good news is you can keep your teeth and gums healthy. By controlling your blood glucose, brushing and flossing daily, and visiting a dentist regularly, you can help prevent serious problems in your mouth.

-Source: National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research