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How Does Diabetes Affect My Mouth and Teeth?

By Cathy Beyea, CDE

People with diabetes have a greater risk of gum disease, tooth decay, infections, burning sensation in the mouth, delayed wound healing, gingivitis, periodontitis, thrush and dry mouth, which can cause soreness, ulcers and cavities.

What can you do?

  1. Control your blood sugar. Work with your diabetes educator.
  2. Brush and floss regularly with a soft bristled toothbrush. Floss at least once a day and brush at least twice a day.
  3. See a dental professional on a regular schedule. Have your teeth cleaned every six months, and see a periodontist once a year. Tell them that you have diabetes, whether your blood sugar is under control and what medications you take.
  4. Call the dentist with bleeding, red or sore gums, gums pulling away from your teeth, bad breath, any mouth pain and if you lose a tooth.

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