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How can diabetes affect my oral health?

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Diabetes can make you more likely to have cavities and fungal infections. Other potential problems include:

Dry mouth, called xerostomia, is common among people with diabetes. When you don't make enough moisture, bacteria thrive, tissues can get irritated and inflamed, and your teeth can be more prone to decay.

The good news: Good dental habits can keep your mouth healthy.

  • Difficulty fighting off infections, including those that might lead to gum disease
  • Slower healing time after dental surgery

SOURCES: 

Sally Cram, DDS, periodontist, Washington, D.C.; consumer adviser, American Dental Association.

David Cochran, DDS, PhD, past president, American Academy of Periodontology; professor and chairman, department of periodontics, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Ship, J. , October 2003. The Journal of the American Dental Association

American Diabetes Association: "Oral Health & Oral Hygiene."

American Academy of Periodontology: "Gum Disease and Diabetes" and "Pocket Depth Reduction."

American Dental Association.

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on February 12, 2018

SOURCES: 

Sally Cram, DDS, periodontist, Washington, D.C.; consumer adviser, American Dental Association.

David Cochran, DDS, PhD, past president, American Academy of Periodontology; professor and chairman, department of periodontics, University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio.

Ship, J. , October 2003. The Journal of the American Dental Association

American Diabetes Association: "Oral Health & Oral Hygiene."

American Academy of Periodontology: "Gum Disease and Diabetes" and "Pocket Depth Reduction."

American Dental Association.

Reviewed by Alfred D. Wyatt Jr. on February 12, 2018

NEXT QUESTION:

What are ways to take care of my teeth while dealing with diabetes?

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THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.

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