The Connection Between Diabetes & Oral Health

diabetes and oral health

The month of November is Diabetes Awareness month and Glow Dental wanted to take this opportunity to discuss some of the oral health concerns surrounding the widespread condition. Diabetes is a disease that occurs when your blood sugar is too high. Blood sugar, glucose, is your main source of energy and comes from the food you eat. Diabetes happens because your body does not process insulin correctly causing glucose to stay in your blood and not reach your cells.

If you need assistance or have questions about your oral health and the effects of type 1 or type 2 diabetes on your mouth, do not hesitate to contact the dedicated Glow Dental team.

Diabetes and Your Mouth Health

Diabetes and side effects from medication can negatively affect your body. This disease can target your body systems like your eyes, nerves, kidneys, and heart. It is important that both dentists and patients know that the symptoms of diabetes can also hurt your oral health. Knowing the facts may help prevent and treat these secondary conditions & stop them from affecting your day-to-day activities. 

Gum Disease

Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bones that hold the teeth in place. Millions of adults have some form of periodontal disease without knowing it.  If it s not treated in time, a small infection can grow into a severe complication like tooth loss, ulcers, and worsening infections.  


Xerostomia, or dry mouth, happens when your body does not produce enough saliva to keep your mouth wet. Patients with Xerostomia have symptoms such as mouth dryness, oral burning, swallowing difficulty, and decreased or altered taste. Although dry mouth is not a life-threatening condition, it can lead to more severe health concerns.

The skilled dentists of Glow Dental in New York City are experienced in recognizing and treating such conditions.  If the condition is severe or demands specialized equipment this team is prepared to meet your needs.  There are a variety of treatments available for periodontal disease. The exact treatment for you will depend on the severity of your case and the location of the affected area.  At Glow Dental, dentists frequently begin the treatment with an affordable teeth deep cleaning. If excessive plaque and tartar deposits have developed below your gum line, doctors will first measure the size of your pockets and proceed by numbing the area so you don’t feel any pain during the procedure. During the procedure, they clean above and below your gums to remove any bacteria, debris, and tartar in your gums. This helps improve the overall health of your mouth.

Another treatment option with this clinic is laser teeth cleanings. During this treatment, an ultrasonic scaler is used to clean your mouth. This method is a viable alternative to traditional teeth cleanings with manual probes.  Many patients prefer this newer method to traditional teeth cleanings because they are quicker, quieter, and pain-free. If you need any additional assistance follow-up appointments are available. Regular cleanings are important because even after only one year of not receiving one a patient starts showing signs of periodontitis and needs a deep cleaning. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late

Some factors that contribute to gum disease are heredity, diet, smoking, diabetes mellitus (sugar control disorder), stress, and certain medications. Anyone can develop gum disease but there is an increased likelihood for patients with diabetes. Even though only specialized healthcare providers can give an adequate diagnosis of gum disease, some possible signs of periodontal disease include:

  • Bad breath that won’t go away.

  • Red or swollen gums.

  • Tender or bleeding gums.

  • Painful chewing.

  • Loose teeth.

  • Sensitive teeth.

  • Receding gums or longer appearing teeth.

Things people with diabetes can do 

You can be diabetic and still protect your smile. Having leveled blood sugar prevents many of the dental issues that are caused by diabetes. Certain things you can do if you have diabetes to improve your oral health are the following: 

  • Monitor your blood sugar levels

  • Brush 2x per day and floss regularly

  • Schedule regular dental cleanings & checkups.

  • Talk to your dentist about diabetes and any concerns

  • Tell your doctor if you are experiencing any symptoms of gum disease or sensitivity in your teeth or gums