Diabetes & Your Oral Health

Oral Health St. Petersburg

Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease that hinders the body’s ability to produce appropriate amounts of insulin, which causes high levels of sugar in the blood. It is a disease, which often brings hosts of medical problems to those who it affects. In addition to the daily efforts to keep blood sugar levels under control, those who suffer from diabetes may often face problems such as high blood pressure, kidney disease, blindness, stroke, heart disease and nervous system disease. As if that weren’t enough, diabetes also often causes problems with oral health.

Gum Disease

Because poor blood sugar control directly affects the probability of gum problems, those with diabetes are at a much higher risk of developing gum disease. If you get gum disease, it will make the diabetes even more difficult to control. Signs of beginning gum disease may include bleeding, red, swollen or tender gums. If untreated, the disease will worsen and you should look for more symptoms such as gums that have pulled away from the teeth, signs of pus, bad breath, loose or moving teeth and changes in your bite and how your dentures fit. Severe gum disease can require you to have gum surgery to try to save your teeth, it may be necessary to pull out the teeth or they may fall out.


Sugars and starches in foods and drinks interact with bacteria, which is found in your mouth. When this happens, it forms plaque, which attacks your teeth and causes cavities. When you are a diabetic with high blood sugar levels, you will have more sugars and starches to mix with the bacteria, which will form more plaque and cause more cavities.

Oral Infections

This occurs when a cluster of germs causes problems in a single area of your mouth. Warning signs include swelling or pus, pain in mouth or sinus area, white or red patches in mouth, pain when chewing, teeth sensitive to hot or cold and dark spots or holes in teeth.

Fungal Infections

Thrush is a common problem for those with high blood sugar levels. This will make white or red patches in areas of your mouth, which most likely will become sore and turn into ulcers.

Care Tips

You must be extra vigilant in your oral care regime. Be sure to keep an eye out for any problems. See your dentist at least twice yearly or more often if you detect any irregularities. Let your dentist know you are affected by diabetes. This will help the dentist know better with what to watch for and how to treat you. Brush at least twice a day for a minimum of three minute and floss at least once a day.