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Diabetes & Oral Health

People who have diabetes know the disease can harm the eyes, nerves, kidneys, heart, and other important systems in the body. Did you know diabetes can also cause problems in your mouth?

People with diabetes have a higher chance of having periodontal (gum) disease, an infection of the gum and bone that hold the teeth in place. Periodontal disease can lead to pain, bad breath that doesn’t go away, chewing difficulties, and even tooth loss. Diabetes can also slow down healing, so it can interfere with the treatment of periodontal disease.

Other problems diabetes can cause are dry mouth and a fungal infection called thrush, which causes painful white patches in your mouth. A dry mouth happens when you do not have enough saliva—the fluid that keeps your mouth wet. A dry mouth can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and tooth decay. Smoking makes these problems even worse. In addition, diabetes may also cause the level of sugar (glucose) in your saliva to increase. Together, these problems may lead to thrush.

View more information at NIDCR’s site

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