Diabetes and Periodontal Disease
How Can You Protect Your Teeth and Gums? continued...
Check Your Work. Dental plaque is hard to see unless it is stained.
Plaque can be stained by chewing red "disclosing tablets" sold at
grocery stores and drug stores or by using a cotton swab to smear green food
coloring on the teeth. The color left on the teeth shows where there is still
plaque. Extra flossing and brushing will remove this plaque.
Dental Check-ups. People with diabetes should have dental check-ups
at least every 6 months, or more often if recommended by their dentist. Be sure
to tell your dentist you have diabetes. Frequent dental check-ups are needed to
find problems early when treatment is most effective. See your dentist as soon
as possible if you have any problem with your teeth or mouth.
Preventing or controlling gum disease depends on teamwork. The best
defense against this complication of diabetes is good blood sugar control,
combined with daily brushing and flossing and regular dental
For copies of the printed pamphlet, write to:
National Oral Health Information Clearinghouse
1 NOHIC Way
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-3500
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial
Research. Diabetes & Periodontal Disease: A Guide for Patients. NIH
Publication 97-2946. (Online) 1997. Last reviewed 2000.