A woman is checking her blood sugar

Diabetes

The role of oral health in diabetes is a two-way street. Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but serious gum disease may have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes.

Periodontal Disease and Diabetes

Periodontal (gum) disease is the most common dental issue affecting nearly 22% of diabetics. With this condition, gums begin to pull away from your teeth. Pockets form between your teeth and gums which can then fill with germs and pus. Because diabetics are less able to fight infections, blood sugar may rise.

Other Dental Issues Associated With Diabetes

Poor blood sugar control increases your risk for other dental health concerns.

  • You may have less saliva, causing your mouth to feel dry.
  • Because saliva protects your teeth, you’re also at a higher risk of cavities.
  • You may have problems tasting food.
  • You may experience delayed wound healing.
  • You may be susceptible to infections such as thrush, inside of your mouth.

Diabetes Dental Health Plan

Teamwork between you and your dentist will help keep you—and your smile—stay healthy. Besides, controlling your blood sugar levels through medication, a healthy diet, and exercise, these steps can help.

  • Regular dental visits and cleanings are important. Remember to keep your dentist and hygienist informed of any changes in your condition, and any medication you might be taking.
  • Postpone any non-emergency dental procedures if your blood sugar is not in good control.
  • Practicing good oral hygiene can help to lower your HbA1c. Make sure to brush twice a day with a soft brush and clean between your teeth daily. If you wear dentures, clean them every day.

Enhanced Dental Benefits for Diabetics

Florida Blue Dental’s Oral Health for Overall Health program provides plan members diagnosed with diabetes enhanced dental benefits when enrolled in our program. These benefits have been shown to improve not only oral health, but also help you better manage your condition.

Learn more about the [enrollment process]().