PEOPLE WITH DIABETES are aware of the challenges it brings to managing their lifestyle. Effective diabetes management requires frequent blood sugar checks, careful dietary planning, and close monitoring of other symptoms.

The Link Between Diabetes and Gum Disease

But with all the things diabetics have to consider, they often miss warning signs from another crucial area—the mouth where diabetes and gum disease are closely linked. In fact it is estimated that one-in-three diabetics will have gum disease.

Why are oral care and diabetes so intertwined? Recent studies have revealed more on the relationship between gum disease and diabetic symptoms.


High blood glucose levels can lead to glucose in saliva that feeds the bacteria that cause gum disease and tooth decay.

People with diabetes have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the body and cause infection. When harmful bacteria are allowed to build up in the mouth, gums become swollen and sensitive. In addition to weakening the structures holding teeth in place, inflamed, bleeding gums are an easy access point for bacteria to enter the bloodstream. These blood born bacteria can aggravate diabetic complications and make it harder to manage blood glucose levels.

Diabetes makes gums more susceptible to infections which in turn can effect blood sugar levels and worsen diabetic conditions. It’s a vicious cycle!

3 Keys To Managing Oral Health And Diabetes

  1. Stay in touch with your doctor and your dentist.
  2. Follow your doctor’s diabetes management plan, and inform them and us of any changes in your condition. It is essential that you have regular dental checkup appointments to watch for any signs of gum disease.

  3. Control your blood glucose level.
  4. Monitor your blood sugar level and use medications as recommended. The better you manage your blood sugar, the less likely you will be to develop gum disease and infections.

  5. Establish good oral care habits.
  6. Brushing twice a day and flossing at least once daily are the important foundations of good oral health care. Smoking is another important factor in gum disease, so if you smoke, quit. Please talk to your dentist if you have any questions about brushing or flossing techniques!

Manage Your Diabetes

Let us help you manage your diabetes and gum disease. We understand that living with diabetes can make life a bit more complicated. We can help ease your burden by providing personalised oral health care plans to our diabetic patients. If you know someone with diabetes, share this information with them! If you would like to find out more about diabetes visit NHS Choices or the Diabetes UK websites.

Thank you for giving us the opportunity to be part of your health-conscious lifestyle.

Image by Flickr user Douglas Palmer used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.

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