Health Library

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
Primary Medical Reviewer E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Jennifer Hone, MD - Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
Last Revised July 1, 2011

This information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information. Your use of this information means that you agree to the Terms of Use. How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.

© 1995-2013 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.

Decision Points

Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.

You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:

Interactive Tools

Get started learning more about your health!

Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups, and pregnancy.

Symptom Checker

Feeling under the weather?

Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.

Symptom Checker