Controlling your blood glucose is the most important step you can take to prevent tooth and gum problems. People with diabetes, especially those whose bloodglucose levels are poorly controlled, are more likely to get gum infections than nondiabetics. A severe gum infection can also make it more difficult to control your diabetes. Once such an infection starts in a person with diabetes, it takes longer to heal. If the infection lasts for a long time, the diabetic person may lose teeth.
Much of what you eat requires good teeth for chewing, so it is extremely important to try to preserve your teeth. Because the bone surrounding the teeth may sometimes be damaged by infection, dentures may not always fit properly and may not be perfect substitutes for your natural teeth.
Taking good care of your gums and teeth is another important measure. Use a soft-bristle brush between the gums and the teeth in a vibrating motion. Place the rubber tip on the toothbrush between the teeth and move it in a circle. Rinse daily with an antiseptic mouthwash.
If you notice that your gums bleed while you are eating or brushing your teeth, see a dentist to determine if you have a beginning infection. You should also notify your dentist if you notice other abnormal changes in your mouth, such as patches of whitish-colored skin.
Have a dental checkup every 6 months. Be sure to tell your dentist that you have diabetes and ask him or her to demonstrate procedures that will help you maintain healthy teeth and gums.
WebMD Public Information from the U.S. National Institutes of Health