Diabetes and Your Teeth

This chronic, inflammatory disease can destroy your gums, all the tissues holding your teeth and even your bones. Periodontal disease is the most common dental disease affecting those living with diabetes, affecting nearly 22% of those diagnosed.

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Dr. Elizabeth Zimina

General Dentist
New York, NY
Dr. Andrey Ilyabayev

Dr. Andrey Ilyabayev

General Dentist
Bayside, NY
Dr. Yvonne Surya

Dr. Yvonne Surya

General Dentist
Burlington, ON

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Well diabetes is a concern for us in periodontics.

It’s important obviously for the patients to follow the advice of their medical doctor, and treat their diabetes either with diet and exercise, or try and maintain the blood sugars at a stable level with the medications provided.

This is important for us because uncontrolled diabetics have a higher risk of progressing gum disease. They have a risk of delayed healing, a risk of infection, and they are more prone to an infection post-surgically, as well.

For us, a stable patient, diabetic patient has a better chance of long-term success than a patient that is not stable with their blood sugar levels and their diabetes. If you happen to be a patient that is diabetic, please inform your dentist, and they can work in unison with your medical doctor to provide proper dental care.

If you have any further questions on whether or not your diabetes is affecting your dental health, please refer to your general dentist. They will do an assessment and recommend treatment as needed.

Presenter: Dr. Dino Georgas, Periodontist, Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: Periodontist

Quiz: Do You Understand Diabetes & Dental Health?

Test your knowledge by answering the following questions:

Questions
True
False
1

Uncontrolled diabetics have a higher risk of progressing gum disease, delayed healing and infection, but are not more prone to post-surgical infections.

Explanation:
If you have diabetes, it’s important to manage the disease with your diabetes healthcare team, as those with poorly controlled diabetes are at greater risk for dental problems. Uncontrolled diabetics have a higher risk of progressing gum disease, delayed healing and infection, and are more prone to post-surgical infections.
2

Diabetes can increase your risk of developing gum infections and infections of the bones that hold the teeth in place.

Explanation:
Diabetes can reduce the blood supply to the gums, increase your risk of developing gum infections and infections of the bones that hold the teeth in place, cause dry mouth, allowing more bacteria and plaque to build up and impair circulation to your teeth and cause toothaches.
3

If you take good care of your teeth and gums and manage blood glucose effectively, you’ll probably receive the same dental care as someone who doesn’t have diabetes.

Explanation:
In most cases, you’ll receive the same dental care as someone who doesn’t have diabetes, and if you take good care of your teeth and gums, you can prevent dental complications with good blood glucose management. Tell your dentist that you have diabetes and go for regular dental checkups, and watch for symptoms such as sore, infected or bleeding gums.
4

There's a set diabetes diet people need to follow.

Explanation:
It's also important to eat a healthy diet to prevent dental decay. There’s no set diabetes diet - it simply means eating healthy foods in moderate amounts at regular mealtimes.
5

A dentist may even notice diabetes symptoms before you know that you have the disease.

Explanation:
A dentist may even notice diabetes symptoms before you know that you have the disease, such as an overreaction to periodontal disease or infection. Your dentist can also tell if you may have heart disease and can refer you to your GP for an exam.
(Answer all questions to activate)

Diabetes and Dental Exams

In your dental exam, it can become obvious to your dentist that there’s an underlying medical problem.

You not only have a gum problem, you may have diabetes. Your dentist can tell if you have an overreaction to periodontal disease or infection. Your dentist can also tell if you may have heart disease and can refer you to your GP for an exam.

Sometimes these underlying medical conditions can be clearly seen by a dentist and diagnosed at that level. If these problems are picked up in the dental office, your dentist will encourage you to see your GP for further testing, to see if this is actually the problem that you have.

Presenter: Dr. Leslie Gallon, General Dentist, North Vancouver, BC

Local Practitioners: General Dentist

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