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Dental Problems and Diabetes

People with poorly controlled diabetes are more susceptible to dental problems. They are more likely to have infections of their gums and the bones that hold the teeth in place, because diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums. In addition, high blood sugar may cause dry mouth and make gum disease worse. The decrease in saliva can cause an increase in tooth-decaying bacteria and plaque buildup.

When a person with diabetes has good blood sugar control, there's no increased risk of dental problems.

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What Are the Symptoms of Dental Problems in Diabetes?

If you have diabetes, symptoms of dental problems include bleeding and sore gums, frequent infections, and bad breath.

How Can I Prevent These Dental Problems?

To prevent dental problems if you have diabetes, taking good care of your gums and teeth is very important. Here are some tips for preventing dental problems:

  • Maintain good blood sugar control.
  • Tell your dentist that you have diabetes.
  • Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day.
  • Have a dental checkup every six months.
  • If you smoke, quit.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Michael Dansinger, MD on December 29, 2013

Is This Normal? Get the Facts Fast!

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Low
0-69
Normal
70-130
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131+

Your level is currently

If the level is below 70 or you are experiencing symptoms such as shaking, sweating or difficulty thinking, you will need to raise the number immediately. A quick solution is to eat a few pieces of hard candy or 1 tablespoon of sugar or honey. Recheck your numbers again in 15 minutes to see if the number has gone up. If not, repeat the steps above or call your doctor.

People who experience hypoglycemia several times in a week should call their health care provider. It's important to monitor your levels each day so you can make sure your numbers are within the range. If you are pregnant always consult with your health care provider.

Congratulations on taking steps to manage your health.

However, it's important to continue to track your numbers so that you can make lifestyle changes if needed. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

Your level is high if this reading was taken before eating. Aim for 70-130 before meals and less than 180 two hours after meals.

Even if your number is high, it's not too late for you to take control of your health and lower your blood sugar.

One of the first steps is to monitor your levels each day. If you are pregnant always consult with your physician.

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