how does diabetes cause oral health problems

How does Diabetes cause Oral Health problems?

A healthy mouth is essential for good oral health. Diabetes can cause damage to the blood vessels in the mouth, leading to oral problems such as gum infection, tooth decay and even periodontal disease. These problems can be challenging to treat and significantly impact a person’s quality of life. 

Good hygiene is vital for health and well-being. Poor oral health can lead to tooth and gum disease, pain and infections. By good oral hygiene habits, you can help prevent these problems. If you have diabetes, taking care of your teeth is especially important. High blood sugar can decrease white blood cells. White blood cells are the body’s primary way to fight infections that can occur in the mouth.

Diabetes can cause serious oral health problems, but managing your condition can help keep your smile healthy. In addition, reasonable diabetes control helps prevent gum disease and other infections in the mouth.

Why are Diabetics more likely to have Oral Health issues?

There is a strong link between diabetes and oral health problems. Poorly controlled blood sugar levels can increase the risk of developing oral health issues. It is because uncontrolled diabetes weakens white blood cells, the body’s central defence against bacterial infections that can occur in the mouth.

Studies have demonstrated that controlling blood sugar levels can reduce the risk of significant complications of diabetes in the organs, such as eye, heart, and nerve damage. Similarly, diabetes may also protect against the development of oral health problems. However, diabetics are more likely to have oral health problems due to several factors.

  • For one, high blood sugar can damage the blood vessels in the mouth. It can lead to gum disease, tooth decay, and even periodontal disease. It can make it hard for people with diabetes to brush and floss their teeth properly, leading to serious oral health problems.
  • In addition, diabetes can increase your risk of developing heart disease. Poor oral hygiene is a leading factor contributing to heart disease. You can help prevent both diabetes and heart disease.

Diseases caused by oral health problems

What are Oral Health problems linked to Diabetes?

People with diabetes develop gum disease and tooth decay. Diabetes can also lead to an increased risk of developing heart disease. Poor oral hygiene is a leading factor contributing to heart disease.

Dry mouth

Uncontrolled diabetes can lead to a decrease in saliva flow, which can cause a dry mouth. A dry tongue or mouth can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Therefore, maintaining good oral health is essential to control blood sugar levels. In addition, reasonable diabetes control helps prevent gum disease and other infections in the mouth.

Gum inflammation (gingivitis) and periodontitis

Diabetes can weaken white blood cells and cause blood vessels to thicken, slowing the flow of body nutrients and waste products from body tissues, including the mouth. This combination of events can make it difficult for the body to fight infections. As a result, people with uncontrolled diabetes may more likely to develop gum disease, a bacterial infection.

The poor healing process of Oral Tissues

People with unbridled diabetes do not heal quickly after oral surgery or other dental procedures because blood flow to the treatment can be damaged. As a result, it can lead to severe complications and a longer recovery time.


Frequent antibiotic use by people with diabetes can lead to fungal infection of the tongue and mouth. The fungus grows on the high glucose levels in the saliva of uncontrolled diabetes. Dentures (especially when worn constantly) can also lead to fungal infections.

Burning tongue

Burning mouth syndrome, or burning tongue, is a condition that the presence of thrush can cause. Dentures (especially when worn constantly) can also lead to fungal infections. Therefore, controlling blood sugar levels and maintaining good oral hygiene habits are vital to treating burning mouth syndrome.

How to maintain good Oral Health with Diabetes?

Diabetics are more prone to conditions that harm their oral health, so it’s essential to follow good oral hygiene, pay attention to any changes in your oral health, and call your dentist immediately if changes occur. To avoid oral health issues, the following suggestions are recommended:

  • It is vital to keep your blood sugar as normal as possible. At each dental visit, be sure to update your dentist on the status of your diabetes. For instance, know your glycosylated hemoglobin (HgA1C) level. (A group shows reasonable control under 7%). If you have had an episode of low blood sugar (also called an insulin reaction) in the past, you are at increased risk for another one. Be sure to tell your dentist when your last episode was, how frequently such attacks occur, and when you took your previous insulin dose (if you take insulin).
  • Before scheduling treatment for periodontal disease, consult with a medical professional. Request that your doctor speaks with your dentist or periodontist about your overall health. If oral hygiene surgery is planned, your doctor or dentist will inform you of any required pre-surgical antibiotics, necessary changes to your meal schedule, or the timing and dosage of your insulin (if applicable).
  • Give your dentist your doctor’s name and phone number. This information will then be available to your dentist should questions or concerns arise.
  • Be sure to bring your dentist a list of all the names and dosages of all medicines you take at your next appointment. Your dentist will need this information to prescribe drugs that are least likely to interfere with the medication you are already taking. If you are treated for a significant infection, your insulin dose (for those taking insulin) might need to be adjusted.
  • Non-urgent dental procedures should be rescheduled if your blood glucose is not reasonably controlled. However, infections that develop quickly, such as abscesses, should be treated immediately.
  • When undergoing dental treatment, it is essential to remember that healing might take longer in people with diabetes. Following your dentist’s post-treatment instructions closely will help ensure a successful outcome.
  • Call your orthodontist immediately if a wire or bracket from your braces cuts your tongue or mouth.

oral health care for diabetes


You can do a few things to maintain good oral health while living with diabetes.

  • First, make sure you brush and floss your teeth every day.
  • Second, eat healthy food that includes plenty of fruits and vegetables.
  • Third, drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.
  • Finally, get regular dental check-ups to monitor your progress and ensure your teeth are healthy.

Keep your mouth Clean and Happy

Maintaining your oral hygiene habits and following a healthy diet can help keep your diabetes in check and your oral health in good shape. You can check my blogs or speak to your doctor for other oral issues and information. Share your problems related to health conditions–we would love to hear from you! 

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