Diabetes is one of the leading causes of disability and death in the United States. One in 10 Americans have diabetes — that’s more than 30 million people. And another 84 million adults in the United States are at high risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

To raise awareness about diabetes and healthy living, PDG  is proudly participating in American Diabetes Month.

Diabetic patients are more likely to develop periodontal disease, which in turn can increase blood sugar and diabetic complications.

People with diabetes are more likely to have periodontal disease (bone loss around teeth) disease, compared to people without diabetes. This can be explained  by poor vascular perfusion due to narrowing of the  blood vessels, as well as an increase in collagen breakdown due to a build up of collagenase (enzyme produced by our  bodies to breakdown collagen) and altered neutrophils (primary cell responsible to fight infections). Thus, these can lead to altered wound healing and contribute to infections.

Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes in both directions; diabetes may worsen periodontal disease may make it more difficult for people who have diabetes to control their blood sugar.

Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar, contributing to increased periods of time when the body functions with a high blood sugar. This puts people with diabetes at increased risk for diabetic complications.

 How Does Diabetes Affect the Mouth?

People who have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other important systems in the body. Did you know diabetes can also cause problems in your mouth? Periodontal disease can lead to bone and tooth loss as well as dental pain.  Dry mouth, often a symptom of undetected diabetes, can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Smoking makes these problems worse.

What can I do?

Good blood glucose control is key to controlling and preventing mouth problems. People with poor blood glucose control and poor oral hygiene  are more susceptible to gum disease compared to  people whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing with regular dental check-ups by a periodontist, and good blood glucose control are the best defense against the oral complications of diabetes.

By making sure that you brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis, you can make sure that you are prtoecting you oral health. Just make sure you also keep appointments with Prestipino Dental Group  too, as getting your regular cleanings is also a part of your healthy routine.

Information about the Author: Dr. Tassos Sfondouris is a board certified periodontist and a Clincal Ressearch Associate at the National Institute of Health. He is  passionate about periodontal and restorative  therapies that promote the health, comfort, and function of our teeth. He welcomes your comments and suggestions and encourages you to like him on Facebook or follow him on Twitter to get the latest unbiased information on dental health topics.


  1. Negrato C, Tarzia O, Jovanovic L, Chinellato L.Periodontal disease and diabetes mellitus. J Appl Oral Sci. 2013 Jan-Feb; 21 (1); 1-12.