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The Diabetes–Oral Health Connection. How to Help Yourself if You Are a Diabetic

Updated: Dec 4, 2023

People with diabetes are well aware of how diabetes can harm their eyes, kidneys, nerves, heart, and other parts of their body. But do you know how diabetes can harm your oral health?

Diabetic people have a higher chance of developing periodontal disease or gum disease. It is an infection of the gum and bone. It is really painful and doesn’t go away. It also causes bad breath or halitosis, chewing difficulties, and even tooth loss. As diabetes slows down healing, it interferes with the treatment of periodontal disease.

Other oral problems caused by diabetes are thrush (a fungal infection that causes white patches in your mouth) and dry mouth. Dry mouth is due to inadequate saliva. It causes infections, ulcers, soreness, and tooth decay.

Along with all these, smoking makes everything worse. Diabetes makes the sugar level in your saliva rise. All these pave way for thrush.


Keeping your diabetes in control is essential for your overall health as well as your oral health. Not keeping your diabetes in check leads to problems in your mouth. Having gum disease makes your blood sugar level harder to control.


If you’re a diabetic patient, make sure you visit your dentist for regular checkups. Symptoms vary from person to person. Some people may notice their gums to be red and swollen. And it might bleed when they brush or floss. Others experience dryness, soreness, bad taste, or white patches in their mouth.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, you must book an appointment with your dentist as soon as you can.


The type of treatment depends on what kind of problem you have. People suffering from periodontal disease will be treated with deep cleaning or they might be referred to a periodontist for surgery. You’ll also be prescribed to use a special mouth rinse.

If you have symptoms of thrush, your dentist or doctor will prescribe you medicine to kill the fungus which is the main cause of thrush. If you’ve got a dry mouth, you will be prescribed a medicine that helps your mouth to stay wet.

Tips for Diabetic Patients

  • Brush twice regularly. Floss daily.

  • Control your blood sugar level.

  • Visit your dentist for regular checkups.

  • Ensure that your dentist knows you're a diabetic.

  • Quit smoking.

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