A woman is checking her blood sugar

Diabetes

The role of oral health in diabetes is a two-way street. People with diabetes are more likely to develop gum disease, which can affect blood glucose control and worsen the severity of diabetes.

Periodontal disease and diabetes

Periodontal disease, which damages bones that hold teeth in place, is a common dental issue for those with diabetes. This condition causes gums to pull away from the teeth and form pockets between teeth and gums that can fill with germs and pus. Because people with diabetes are less able to fight infections, blood sugar may rise and bone loss may progress quickly.

Other dental issues associated with diabetes

Poor blood sugar control increases your risk of other dental health concerns:

  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry
  • Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re more likely to get cavities
  • You may have problems tasting food properly
  • You’re more likely to get infections, such as thrush, inside your mouth

Managing your oral health can help manage diabetes

Teamwork between you and your dentist will help keep you and your smile healthy. In addition to controlling your blood sugar level with medication, a healthy diet and exercise, these steps can help:

  • Regular dental visits and cleanings are important. Remember to let your dentist and dental hygienist know of any changes in your condition or medication you’re taking.
  • Practice good oral hygiene to lower your HbA1c. Brush your teeth twice a day and after meals with a soft brush and floss daily. If you wear dentures, clean them every day.

Condition-specific benefits at no additional cost

To help manage the condition and improve oral health, our Oral Health for Overall Health program provides enhanced dental benefits for enrolled program members who are diagnosed with diabetes. These benefits are covered 100%, with no out-of-pocket expenses when seeing a participating provider. The enhanced dental benefits include:

  • Two additional cleanings or periodontal maintenance visits per year (total of four).
  • If your plan includes periodontal coverage, periodontal scaling is covered at 100% with no out-of-pocket expense. Often referred to as a deep cleaning, periodontal scaling reaches below the gumline to remove the buildup of plaque and toxic bacteria, helping to control your blood sugar level.

Members with health and dental plans from Florida Blue who have a diagnosis of diabetes are enrolled automatically. Dental members who don’t have a health plan with Florida Blue can easily enroll online.

To use your Oral Health for Overall Health benefits, simply make an appointment with your dentist. To find a dentist in your plan’s network, visit our provider directory.