Your Mouth and Diabetes

diabetes and oral health

Unfortunately, diabetes is a way of life in America. Almost 29 MILLION Americans have diabetes, and it’s estimated that 7.2 MILLION additional people have undiagnosed diabetes.

Sadly, the vast majority of these people could prevent their diabetes by having a healthier lifestyle. Did you know that diabetes can also affect your oral health?

It is important to inform your dentist in Charlotte of your condition, so the appropriate dental treatment plan may be put in place to help prevent oral problems resulting from diabetes.

Diabetes and Oral Health

diabetes affects oral health infographic

Research shows that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis (an early stage of gum disease) and periodontitis (an advanced stage of gum disease).

This is because people with diabetes are more susceptible to bacterial infection, and have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums. The more severe the gum disease, the more likely a person will lose his/her teeth.

It’s also true that gum disease has the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

In addition, diabetes can contribute to thrush, an infection caused by a fungus that grows in the mouth, and dry mouth which can cause soreness, ulcers, infections and cavities.

How to Have a Good Oral Health Despite Your Diabetes

Even after listing all of this, I want you to know that you CAN have a healthy mouth. But it does take some time and effort. However – it’s absolutely worth it.

First and foremost, control your blood glucose level. This can be accomplished through a proper diet and light to moderate exercise. Work with your physician to find a combination that works for you.

Second, brush twice a day for 2 minutes and floss daily. To ensure you keep your mouth healthy, these steps are absolutely necessary.

Third, use an antibacterial mouth rinse with fluoride daily. This IS NOT a replacement for the previous rules of brushing and flossing. This just helps to remove any extra bacteria in your mouth and keep your enamel strong.

Lastly, visit your dentist regularly to have your teeth cleaned. And when you visit your dentist, be sure to tell them that you have diabetes so they can treat your mouth appropriately.

If you follow all these steps, I promise that you’ll have a healthy mouth and your smile will remain bright and healthy your entire lifetime.

-Dr. Taj

For more information, be sure to visit me or my staff at one of the three locations shown below, go to my website at, or watch my Dental Minute videos that deal with diabetes.