The Detriment of Diabetes on Dental Health

Diabetics have excessive amounts of glucose in their blood. As a result, it is common for the diagnosed to experience varying degrees of pain in the mouth, oral infections, and similar other complications that negatively impact the teeth, the gums, the soft tissues in the mouth, as well as the jaws.

The glucose within the blood eventually makes its way into the saliva. If diabetes is poorly controlled, the excess glucose in the mouth creates an ideal environment for the growth and spread of potentially harmful bacteria. This, in turn, creates plaque.

There are different types of plaque. Many cause cavities, decay, gum disease, and even bad breath. Throughout this guide, you will learn about the detriment of diabetes on dental health.


One of the most common dental health issues experienced by those with diabetes is the development of candidiasis, which is also called “thrush”. This occurs when a natural fungus starts to grow in the mouth and the body is unable to control this growth.

This results in many symptoms. Examples include the development of white or red patches in the mouth, the development of sores, and pain in the mouth.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth is commonly experienced by those with diabetes. This is medically termed, “xerostomia”. It occurs when the saliva in the mouth is drastically reduced.

Symptoms include a general dryness in the mouth, pain, the development of cracks in the mouth, sores in the mouth, the onset of oral-based infections, and complications in eating, talking, and similar activities involving the mouth.

Dry mouth drastically increases the risk for the development of gum disease within the mouth and decay among the teeth.


Many diabetics experience the issue of gingivitis as a result of increased glucose in the saliva. This results in inflammation of the gum. The most common symptoms include red gums, swollen gums, and bleeding from the gums.

If left untreated, many oral health problems may be experienced. These include the development of cavities, a receding gum line, and even the loss of teeth.

Gum Disease

Gum disease – also referred to as “periodontitis” – is common among diabetics. Symptoms that are common with this dental health problem include inflammation in the gums, bleeding gums, receding gum line, bad breath, the development of gaps between the teeth, complications in the way that dentures fit on the gums, and pain.

Other Dental Problems

In addition to the previously mentioned diabetic problems, diabetes may result in the following dental health problems:

  • The development of sores inside the mouth, on the tongue, on the insides of the cheeks, and other regions. These sores may heal very slow or not at all.
  • Holes may form in the teeth.
  • Dark spots and noticeable discoloration may develop on the teeth.
  • The teeth may become loose for no apparent reason.
  • When chewing, pain may be experienced.
  • Many notice that their sense of taste may change or that they always have some type of bad taste within the mouth.
  • Bad breath may develop that does not go away – despite brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash products.

If you are a diabetic, you are at high risk for developing these dental health problems and may need a periodontist that specializes in diabetic dental issues. In fact, if you are reading this, you have probably already experienced some type of issue. If so, we can help!

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