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 (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place than people without diabetes, probably because people with diabetes are more susceptible to contracting infections. In fact, periodontal disease is often considered a complication of diabetes. Those people who don’t have their diabetes under control are especially at risk.
Research has suggested that the relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease goes both ways – 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 painful chewing difficulties and even tooth loss. 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 get gum disease more often and more severely than people whose diabetes is well controlled. Daily brushing and flossing, regular dental check-ups by a periodontist, and good blood glucose control are the best defense against the oral complications of diabetes.