Tips and Information

People with diabetes need to pay extra attention to their oral health.

Quick facts about diabetes and oral health

  • Taking good care of your gums and teeth is key when you have diabetes, helping you protect your teeth and gums for life.
  • Uncontrolled blood sugar can affect your gums and teeth. It can cause an increase in plaque bacteria.
  • People with diabetes are 3 to 4 times as likely to get a gum infection.
  • Diabetes makes it harder to fight off infections, including gum disease.
  • Gum disease can make it harder to control diabetes.

Take good care of your teeth at home

  • Brush at least twice a day. Be sure to use an antibacterial toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Make sure to floss at least once a day.
  • Try using an antibacterial mouthwash (without alcohol) at least once a day. This can help kill bacteria and control plaque.

And be sure to

  • Tell your dental professional that you have diabetes.
  • Go for regular dental cleanings every 6 months (more often if directed by your dental professional).
  • Tell your dental professional if you notice any symptoms of gum disease, such as bleeding and swelling.
  • Ask your dentist to talk to your doctor if you need to have dental surgery. You may need to change your medicine or take a new one to help prevent infection.