Will Diabetes Really Affect Someone’s Oral Health?

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a battle that many people will have to endure for the rest of their lives with as many as 549,000 people in the UK still requiring a diagnosis, according to Diabetes. The condition directly affects the level of sugar in a person’s blood. There are two main types of diabetes that affect us – the most common of those is type 2 diabetes which has been directly attributed to the increasing levels of obesity.

Types 2 diabetes is a condition whereby the body produces a lack of insulin to manipulate sugar intake, leading to blood sugar levels in the body to rise to dangerous levels. Normally, the insulin hormone will moderate the sugar in the body and allow that energy to be stored and used later. According to the NHS, roughly 90% of the people who suffer from diabetes will be suffering from type 2 diabetes

Alternatively, type 1 diabetes is distinguished as an autoimmune disease and is considerably less common than type 2 diabetes. With this disease, your body will attack the cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. This means that no insulin is made at all.

Links with Diabetes and Oral Health?

According to sources like Colgate Professional, research into the area of diabetes and how it affects our oral health has been on the rise for over 10 years now. This research has discovered that there are very obvious correlations between diabetes and having periodontitis. This similarity goes as far as suggesting that you are 3 to 4 times more likely to develop periodontitis if you already have diabetes.

Furthermore, this can be a particularly dangerous combination because of how your body reacts to having periodontitis. Periodontitis increases the levels of sugar in the blood, and this can be dangerous because people with diabetes cannot regulate blood sugar levels.

It is very important that your diabetes is well managed as well as your oral health. By correctly managing your oral health, you will be significantly reducing the risk of developing periodontitis, but make sure you understand the warning signs:

  • Red, inflamed gum tissue
  • Bleeding gums after brushing or flossing
  • Bad breath
  • Painfulness
  • Receding gums

If you do think you might be suffering from gum disease, make sure you visit your dentist as soon as possible. Gum disease, depending on how much it has developed, can have severe implications, especially for those who have diabetes.

How to Keep Your Mouth Healthy as a Diabetic?

There are many things that you should be doing when you are a diabetic to ensure that you are healthy in general – but our oral health is just as important. Always be checking your blood sugar range to make sure you’re keeping within your target range, maintain a routine by brushing your teeth twice every day, visit your dentist when required for a check-up, keep a well-balanced diet, and avoid smoking cigarettes.


Unsure about your dental health? Call your nearest Synergy Dental Clinic and we’ll be happy to help.