Can Diabetes Cause Dental Problems Too?


Diabetes is a debilitating condition that affects more than 62 million people in India. This disease is a growing concern, and it is estimated that by 2035, more than 102 million people in India will suffer from it. One of the reasons why diabetes is so dangerous is because it can lead to complications if patients fail to manage it. Apart from Heart attack, kidney failure, nerve disorders, Diabetic foot, Dental problems are also more common in Diabetes then Non-Diabetic Patients. They can be prevented, If Diabetes is kept controlled.

Can Diabetes Cause Dental Problems Too

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a type of a metabolic disease. It occurs when the body either does not produce required amount of insulin, or Insulin action is impaired. Insulin is a type of hormone that helps keeping   blood sugar with in normal range in the blood and transport sugar into various cells in the body so that it can be used for energy. Thus, when the body cannot secret required insulin or its action is impaired, it leads to high blood sugar.

Some of the various diabetes types that can affect the human body are:

  • Type 1 Diabetes: Type 1 diabetes/Juvenile/IDDM in which there is no insulin formation or absence/destruction of Insulin
  • Type 2 Diabetes: Type 2 diabetes/NIDDM In which, the body becomes resistant to the hormone insulin after facing consistent high blood sugar. As a result, the sugar in the blood continues to build and leads to many complications.
  • Gestational Diabetes: Gestational diabetes occurs in pregnant women.
  • Pre-diabetes: Pre-diabetes is a warning sign for diabetes. In this, the blood sugar is higher than normal, but not high enough to qualify as diabetes. During this stage, a patient’s condition can be reversed with proper precautions and life style changes.

What are the Common Diabetes Symptoms?

Diabetes symptoms

Cardinal Symptoms

  • Increased hunger
  • Increased thirst
  • Increased urination (Urine output is more than normal in 24 hours)

Other Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Weakness
  • Delayed in Wound/Sore healing
  • Blurred vision
  • Repeated Infections

If you experience any of these symptoms you should get in touch with your Doctor immediately to get a diagnosis.

Diabetes and Dental Problems?

Dental problems are more in Diabetes than Non-Diabetes patients

  • Dental carries
  • Gum infection
  • Oral cavity infection
  • Bone infection that holds teeth

Patients must watch out for the following symptoms to know whether they are suffering from dental problems:

  • Bleeding gums – is there blood in your spit when you brush your teeth? Do your gums bleed when you bite into a hard fruit like apple?
  • Sore gums – do your gums feel inflamed or sore? Do they have a slightly reddish appearance?
  • Plaque build-up
  • Bad breath – does your bad breath stay even after brushing?
  • Frequent oral infections

How is Dental problems Treated in Diabetes Patients?

Dental Problems in Diabetes are treated by Dentist and Physician

Dentist will treat Dental problems accordingly.

Physician will manage Diabetes and keep blood sugar with in normal limit or target level.

Diabetes management:

Apart from taking care of your oral health and hygiene, you must take an active role in managing your diabetes. A few steps that you can follow for the same are:

  • Life Style Change and Dietary Control
  • Regular exercise
  • Drugs Therapy either oral or Insulin therapy
  • Keep your blood sugar with in normal or target level
  • Regular visit to your Doctor


Prevention of Dental problems in Diabetes is keeping your Diabetes under control with full care of oral cavity and Dental care. Maintain full hygiene of oral cavity and teeth and don`t allow infection to grow in unhygienic situation. Consult your Dentist and Physician/Family Physician/GP time to time. If there is Dental problems, then start treatment well in time to avoid complications.

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Dr RM Chhabra
Dr. R. M. Chhabra is a Senior, Consultant Physician at Fortis Hospital, Diabetes and Metabolic Disorders Department, Shalimar Bagh, Delhi. He has over 30 years of experience. He has completed his MD (internal medicine) degree from Sardar Patel Medical College, Bikaner, Rajasthan in 1987. Dr. R. M. Chhabra is a Governing member of the Association Of Physicians of India (API), Past Treasurer and Executive member of the Cardiological Society of India (CSI), Founder & Past President of the North Delhi Physician Forum (NDPF) Life member of the Research Society of Diabetes of India (RSSDI), & the Delhi Diabetic Forum (DDF).


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