Can diabetes affect oral health?

Diabetes and Periodontitis are both very common diseases and the association between these two conditions have been recognized by dental professionals for many years. Many studies have identified that diabetes is a major risk factor for Periodontitis and it is true to say that diabetes can affect many parts of the body including teeth and gums. The effect of the diabetes is even greater if the blood sugar is not controlled which makes it harder to fight bacterial infections.

People with diabetes are more likely to have infections of the gums and bones that hold the tooth in its place. Diabetes also decreases the blood sugar supply to the gums making them more susceptible to diseases. High blood sugars can also make the mouth dry making gum disease worse.

Plaque buildup

Plaque buildup is one of the leading causes of gum diseases and infections. Plaque is a clear sticky layer of bacteria that forms on the teeth and requires to be removed efficiently in order to prevent oral issues. If your high blood sugar is not maintained or controlled it may lead to a faster plaque buildup which means that the risk of oral health problems becomes greater.


Gingivitis is a kind of gum disease that results in red, swollen gums and it is caused by a buildup of plaque or tartar on the gums and teeth. As mentioned earlier, if you have diabetes it is harder for the body to control plaque bacteria and its buildup. This is the reason why people with diabetes are at a much greater risk of getting gum diseases.

Be sure to see your dental professional if you have any of these symptoms:

  •         Red gums
  •         Swollen or
  •         Tender gums
  •         Gums that bleed easily

Periodontal disease

If you do not treat gingivitis it can turn into a larger problem- Periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease which pulls away the gums from the teeth causing teeth to become loose.

Your oral health can also affect diabetes. If you have an infection like gum disease, it can affect your blood sugar also. This is why diabetes patients are urged to follow the vital oral care habits at home and protect the oral health to manage diabetes.

For more information on diabetes and oral health, talk to your dental team on 0208 371 4386

diabetics and dentist

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