Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

Oral Healthy, Healthy TeethMany people fail to realize that their oral health says a lot about their overall health. Problems with your oral health can be indicative of minor or serious health issues. According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, people with diabetes are at an increased risk of developing periodontal disease.

The Effect of Diabetes on Your Mouth

Diabetes can increase your risk of periodontal disease, which can lead to infection of the gums, tooth decay, tooth loss, and bone loss in the jaw. Other possible oral health symptoms of diabetes include dry mouth, soreness of the jaw, and ulcers of the mouth. Smoking can exacerbate these issues.

Why Does Diabetes Affect Your Oral Health?

According to the American Diabetes Association®, patients with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight bacterial infections. This weaker immunity can make you more susceptible to bacterial growth in the mouth, which is the main cause of bad breath, tooth decay, and gum disease. Dry mouth and high blood sugar levels can also create a better environment for bacterial growth, which creates and accelerates the above-mentioned oral problems.

Maintaining Your Oral Health With Diabetes

If you have diabetes, controlling your diet and blood sugar levels can help improve your overall oral health. You should also maintain good oral health practices, such as brushing regularly, rinsing with alcohol-free mouthwash, flossing, and avoiding highly acidic foods. Anyone looking to maintain their oral health should have regular dental check-ups every three to four months.

It is important that you disclose your diabetes to your dentist. Your regular dental visits allow for early diagnosis of tooth decay and gum disease. Regular cleanings can help control your gum disease, and most people see an improvement in their minor gum disease after a thorough teeth cleaning. Patients with advanced periodontitis will find that scaling and root planing or laser therapy can significantly improve their oral health, but if severe disease continues, tooth loss may occur and require dental implants.


If you are looking to maintain your oral health, please schedule a consultation with Dr. Fiss today. Contact our office at (312) 951-5230 or fill out our online contact form for additional information.