Dental Health Also At Risk for People with Diabetes
Although serious long-term complications of diabetes such as eye, heart, nerve, and kidney damage usually get most of the attention, people with diabetes are also at greater risk for cavities and other types of dental problems. Elevated blood sugar levels help bacteria in the mouth to thrive, promoting tooth decay, and appear to increase the risk and severity of gum (periodontal) disease. People with diabetes are also more likely to develop oral fungal infections and may heal more slowly following dental surgery.
Fortunately, most dental problems can be averted by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to protect tooth enamel. Cleaning between the teeth with dental floss once a day helps protect against periodontal disease. Regular dental checkups are also important. Let your dentist know that you have diabetes, so that he or she can advise you about what additional steps may be necessary to ensure the health of your teeth and gums.
Source: Diabetes: A Plan for Living. Copyright © by Harvard Health Publications
Online Medical Reviewer:
Weber, Hans-Peter, DMD
Date Last Reviewed:
Date Last Modified:
Copyright Harvard Health Publications
The views represented by this article are that of the author and not of Delta Dental. This article is provided for information only. Please consult with a licensed dentist to discuss the best way for you to improve or maintain your oral health.
In all cases, specific group contract provisions, benefits, limitations and exclusions take precedence over oral health recommendations given here. We recommend that you contact your dental benefits carrier to determine the specific limitations and exclusions for your group.