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Dental problems and diabetes

Dental problems are three times more common in people with type 2 diabetes than in people without diabetes, according to Diabetes UK.

Oral health is also a concern for people with type 1 diabetes.

Gum disease and gingivitis, infections, periodontitis, tooth decay, dry mouth and fungal infections are more likely if blood glucose levels are not well controlled.

A dentist is an important part of your diabetes care team, and should be made aware of a diabetes diagnosis and any changes in medication.

How can I prevent these dental problems?

To prevent dental problems if you have diabetes, it is important to take good care of your gums and teeth. Here are some tips to help prevent dental problems:

  • Have a dental check-up as often as recommended.
  • Tell your dentist that you have diabetes and ask him or her to show you how to take proper care of your gums and teeth.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once a day.
  • If you smoke, stop.
  • Maintain good blood sugar control.

If very severe gum disease does develop, surgery may save your teeth. But, if that is not possible, you may have to have teeth extracted to prevent the infection from destroying the bone around your teeth.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on January 11, 2018

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