Learn How Diabetes Affects Your Oral Health During National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is designated as National Diabetes Awareness Month. According to the American Dental Association (ADA) people with diabetes are at greater risk for gum diseases like gingivitis and periodontitis due to increased blood sugar levels that allow bacteria to thrive. Your blood sugar levels also rise when you have gum disease, making diabetes even harder to control.

Regular dental visits are important for everyone, but research shows that regular dental visits can help improve your blood sugar control if you are diabetic. Good oral hygiene habits at home and regular professional cleanings with David A. Butler D.D.S. Family Dentistry can actually help lower your HbA1c numbers, and ultimately help control your diabetes.

Diabetes affects your body’s ability to process sugar. Both types of diabetes (Type I and Type II) result in high blood sugar levels, which can cause problems with your eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart and other parts of your body. Diabetes takes a toll on your entire body, and it can increase your risk of dental disease and other symptoms that show up in your mouth.

How Does Diabetes Affect Your Mouth?

If you have diabetes, it’s likely that you have oral health problems such as cavities and gum disease, and if you’re over 50, your risks increase. Controlling your diabetes will
protect your teeth and gums, and with your teeth and gums in check, you will be better able to manage your diabetes.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting diabetics, primarily because poor blood sugar control increases the risk for gum problems. As with any infection, serious gum disease may cause blood sugar to rise, which makes diabetes harder to control because diabetics are less able to fight the bacteria invading the gums.


Gingivitis is the first stage of gum disease. The higher your blood sugar level, the higher the supply of sugars and starches which cause more acid that wears away at the enamel of your teeth. Diabetes also reduces your ability to fight bacteria and over time, your gums become swollen and bleed easily. Uncontrolled diabetes means more sugar in your saliva, which provides a banquet for bacteria.


Left untreated, gingivitis can turn into periodontitis, a serious gum disease that erodes the bone and tissues that support your teeth and can lead to tooth loss. Ignoring daily oral care allows bacteria and plaque to build up on your teeth. Periodontitis can’t be reversed and can’t be treated with brushing and flossing alone. Dr. Butler will need to provide special treatment if your teeth and gums have reached this point.

Tips for Diabetics to Avoid Gum Disease

  • Keep your blood sugar in check.
  • Brush, floss and rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash daily. This will help to stop
    most tooth and gum disease before it has a chance to get established.
  • Limit acidic drinks, which erodes the enamel of your teeth and leads to decay.
  • See Dr. Butler twice a year, or more often if needed.

Dr. Butler Can Help you Fight Diabetes

Research indicates that treating gum disease can help improve blood sugar control for diabetics. Dr. Butler is here to treat diabetics and all of your family’s dental needs. Located in Sugar Land, Texas surrounding communities of First Colony. Call (281) 980-3222 or contact us to make an appointment.

If you have diabetes, the sooner you begin oral treatment, the better your chances are for controlling your blood sugar levels and winning the battle against gum disease and potential tooth loss.