The Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health

tooth and sugarDiabetes can lead to many conditions, and can even affect your oral health. Having diabetes can leave you at a greater risk of developing periodontal disease, which is the infection of your gums. Also known as gum disease, it is treatable if the dentist is aware of the condition; otherwise, it will spread and worsen until your teeth are at risk of falling out. Therefore, the effects of diabetes on your oral health can be extremely harmful if not treated, so let your dentist know if you have it to allow us to monitor you for any signs of gum disease.

Diabetes and Periodontal Disease

Patients with diabetes do not automatically develop gum disease. However, the condition is more common and more severe among these patients, because they have less resistance to the bacteria that cause gingivitis. In addition, research has shown that gum disease may lead to the development of diabetes by suggesting that serious periodontal disease can affect blood glucose control.

At the same time, treating gum disease may help your blood sugar control so that you can manage your diabetes, while regulating your diabetes can help you better prevent gum disease. If you have one of these conditions, let your doctor and dentist know about it, and the type of medication you are taking. If you have diabetes, make sure to take care of your teeth and gums at home by brushing and flossing properly, and attending your regularly scheduled dental appointments.

Other Oral Diseases Caused by Diabetes

Patients with diabetes are also more susceptible to fungal infections of the mouth, like thrush, which can make you develop painful sores in the area and cause difficulty swallowing. The dentist can concoct a treatment for you that may include antifungal medications.

Dry mouth can be another condition caused by diabetes. This condition can make your teeth more susceptible to tooth decay, so if you have chronic dry mouth, let your dentist and doctor know as soon as possible.


With over 25 years of professional experience, Dr. Steven M. Huffstutler and his caring team proudly provide exceptional preventive, cosmetic, and restorative dental treatment to patients and their families across Dallas/Ft. Worth, including North Richland Hills, Denton, the Mid-cities, Southlake, and all surrounding communities. We also have extensive experience helping patients find relief from painful TMJ disorders (various forms of jaw dysfunction). To schedule an appointment with Dr. Huffstutler, contact our office today by calling 817-918-3038.