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Care of Your Teeth and Gums When You Have Diabetes

Care of Your Teeth and Gums When You Have Diabetes

Topic Overview

People with diabetes have a greater risk for gum (periodontal) disease when blood sugar is high. And gum disease can cause higher blood sugar levels, which makes it hard to fight infection, including infections in the mouth.

To help prevent dental problems, each day:

  • Keep your blood sugar levels within your target range.
  • Brush your teeth at least twice.
  • Floss once, pressing the floss against your teeth and not your gums.
  • Check for areas where your gums are red or painful.

To help prevent dental problems, see your dentist every 6 months. Before dental work starts, remind your dentist that you have diabetes. Many dental treatments can affect your blood sugar.

To help prevent dental problems:

  • See your dentist right away if you think you have a problem.
  • Delay dental surgery if your blood sugar levels are higher than your target range. High blood sugar levels increase your risk of getting an infection after surgery.

See the topic Basic Dental Care for general information on caring for your teeth.

Related Information

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
David C.W. Lau, MD, PhD, FRCPC - Endocrinology
Last Revised July 16, 2013

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