Diabetes and Your Oral Health

Oral health and overall health are connected in many ways – several health issues have oral health complications. On the flip side, poor oral health can indicate overall health problems.

Though diabetes doesn’t cause gum disease, and gum disease doesn’t cause diabetes, people who have one of them are more likely to have the other when compared to people with no diabetes or gum disease. Diabetes reduces the body’s ability to fight infection. Because gum disease is a type of infection in the gums and the bone surrounding gums, people with diabetes can have a harder time getting rid of gum disease than their non-diabetic counterparts. People who are in control of their diabetes tend to have less gum disease than those who aren’t managing the disease well.1

If you have diabetes, it’s important to make your dentist aware of your condition so they know you have an increased risk for gum disease. You should also pay close attention to your oral health, making sure to brush twice a day, floss daily and visit your dentist regularly for checkups.2 People with diabetes or gum disease may also be eligible for enhanced benefits through your dental plan, which may cover extra cleanings and exams. Some studies have shown that people with diabetes who receive regular oral health care may even lower their overall medical costs from diabetes.3

1http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,periodiabresearch
2
http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD15
3
Nasseh K, Vujicic M, and Glick M. The Relationship between Periodontal Interventions and Healthcare Costs and Utilization. Evidence from an Integrated Dental, Medical, and Pharmacy Commercial Claims Database. Health Economics. Vol 26 (4) 2017 p 519-527.


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