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Does Diabetes affect oral health?

Diabetes and Periodontal (Gum) Disease...

If you have diabetes, it can affect many parts of your body. This includes your teeth and gums. The effect is even greater when your blood sugar is not well controlled, making it harder to fight bacterial infections.

Plaque buildup

Plaque is a clear, sticky layer of bacteria that forms on teeth. If it is not removed, it can lead to infections such as gum disease.

If your high blood sugar is not controlled, you may have more plaque bacteria than most people. That means you are more at risk for oral health problems.


Red, swollen gums

Gingivitis is a form of gum disease. It is caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar on the teeth and gums.

If you have diabetes, it is harder for your body to control plaque bacteria. That is why people with diabetes are 3 to 4 times more likely to get gum disease.

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 gingivitis is left untreated, it can turn into periodontitis. This is a more serious form of gum disease. Over time, it can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth, causing teeth to become loose.

Oral health can affect diabetes, too. Having an infection like gum disease can affect your blood sugar. That's why it's vital to practice good oral care habits at home. It can help you protect your oral health, as well as manage your diabetes.

Be sure to use your blood glucose meter! It can help you control your blood sugar levels and protect your oral health.

For more information on diabetes and oral health, talk to your dental team or visit

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