Diabetes and your oral health


Diabetes can impact your oral health as well as just your blood sugar.  Diabetics have trouble fighting off harmful bacteria that enter the body. This includes oral health, and those with diabetes can often experience higher incidence of swollen or sensitive gums. Once this happens, unfortunately the gums can bleed and create areas that more harmful bacteria can enter the blood stream. This can lead to worsening of other diabetic conditions, such as managing blood sugar. Typical dental complications with diabetes include:

  • taste impairment
  • infection
  • gum disease
  • salivary gland issues
  • issues healing from gum infections

While this may seem like a never-ending cycle, we like to focus on solutions! What can you do in order to keep your oral health in check (which leads to more successful management of your diabetes)?

  • Keep us in the loop– let your dental health professional know about all medications you are taking, any symptoms you are experiencing, and any other changes regarding your diabetes.
  • Call us right away if: gums are bleeding easily, even when brushing and flossing, persistent bad breath, gum tenderness, pus in mouth, red or swollen gums, or any other oral discomfort.
  • Your dentist may prescribe more frequent visits than the “usual” every six months. Everyone is different and we want to see you succeed in maintaining your oral and overall health.
  • Be diligent about practicing good dental hygiene at home with brushing and flossing.
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About the author

A practicing dentist since 1982, Dr. Gary Imm, provides advanced cosmetic dentistry, including smile makeovers, sedation, implant and TMJ services. He is committed to progressive, extraordinary care for his guests. All Smiles Dental Care trains at least 300 hours each year at such prestigious centers as the Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dentistry. (LVI)