5 Ways Diabetes Can Affect Your Mouth

Aug 14 2019

Diabetes can take a toll on your entire body, and it may increase your risk of dental disease. In fact, one in 5 cases of total tooth loss is connected to diabetes.

Controlling your blood sugar, brushing, flossing and visiting your dentist often can go a long way to help decrease the likelihood of developing diabetes-related mouth problems.

Gum Disease

Do you notice bleeding after you brush or floss? That could be an early sign of gum disease. If the bleeding becomes severe, the bone that supports your teeth may break down, resulting in tooth loss. Early gum disease can often be reversed with correct brushing, flossing, and diet. Research has shown that gum disease will worsen if your blood sugar isn’t kept in check.

Dry Mouth

Studies have found that individuals with diabetes have less saliva, therefore you could possibly end up feeling parched or thirsty. Chewing sugarless gum and eating healthy, crunchy foods can get the saliva flowing. 

Change in Taste

Your favorite flavors might not taste as good as you remember if you have diabetes. Take the chance to experiment with completely different tastes, textures, and spices to your favorite foods. Just take care not to add too much sugar to your food in an effort to add flavor as this can have a negative effect on the quality of your diet and it also can result in cavities. If you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, see your dentist or doctor.


Diabetes affects your immune system leaving you more vulnerable to infection. One symptom common among people with diabetes is a yeast infection called oral thrush (candidiasis). The yeast thrives on the higher amount of sugar found in your saliva, and it looks like a white layer coating on your tongue and the insides of your cheeks. Thrush is more common in those who wear dentures and might leave a bad taste in your mouth. See your dentist if you think that you have oral thrush or any other mouth infection.

Slow Healing

Have you ever noticed a cold sore or a cut in your mouth that doesn’t quite seem to go away? This could be another way that diabetes may affect your mouth. Poor control of blood sugar can keep injuries from healing quickly and properly. If you have something in your mouth that you feel isn’t healing as it should see your dentist.

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