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Diabetes and Oral Health

Because of high blood glucose, people with diabetes are more likely to have problems with their teeth and gums. And like all infections, dental infections can make your blood glucose go up. Sore, swollen, and red gums that bleed when you brush your teeth are a sign of a dental problem called gingivitis. Another problem, called periodontitis, happens when your gums shrink or pull away from your teeth.

People with diabetes can have tooth and gum problems more often if their blood glucose stays high. Also, smoking makes it more likely for you to get a bad case of gum disease, especially if you have diabetes and are age 45 or older.

People with diabetes are also prone to other mouth problems, like fungal infections, poor post-surgery healing, and dry mouth.

Keeping Your Mouth, Gums, and Teeth Healthy If You Have Diabetes
You can help maintain your oral health by keeping your blood glucose as close to normal as possible, brushing your teeth at least twice a day, and flossing once a day. Keep any dentures clean. Get a dental cleaning and exam twice a year, and tell your dentist that you have diabetes. Call your dentist with any problems, such as gums that are red, sore, bleeding, or pulling away from the teeth; any possible tooth infection; or soreness from dentures.

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