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Diabetes and Oral Health

Diabetes Mellitus, more commonly referred to as Diabetes, is an extremely common disease. There are more than 5.7 million Canadians living with diagnosed Diabetes as of 2022, with many more undiagnosed. Diabetes is the elevation of blood glucose within the body, caused when the body is unable to use or produce insulin effectively.

Individuals with Diabetes are at an increased risk of infection, including infections of the oral cavity. Diabetics are at increased risks of gingivitis (gum disease), periodontitis (disease of periodontium, which are the surrounding structures of tooth and bone), as well as candidiasis (fungal infections).

In addition to increased risk of oral infections, patients with Diabetes often encounter delayed wound healing, which also effects the tissues of the mouth and their healing abilities.

Periodontal Disease has also been linked to an increase in blood glucose levels in individuals with Diabetes, making Diabetes more difficult to control and manage.

Due to these increased risk factors in Diabetics, it is recommended that individuals with Diabetes see their dental professionals frequently to monitor, diagnose and manage any complications arising from their Diabetes. It is recommended that Diabetics see their Dental Hygienist every 3 months in order to reduce any bacterial accumulation which can lead to inflammation and infection.

Things to Know Before Your Dental Appointment:

It is important for individuals with Diabetes to monitor blood glucose levels, A1C levels and report to dental professionals at appts, in order for the dental profession to assess if their disease is under control It is also recommended that patients with diabetes make sure to eat or take their required medications prior to dental appts to prevent spikes or drops in blood glucose levels Bring a list of any medications taken for control of disease Inform dental professional of any previous history of oral complications related to Diabetes


Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC. (2022, January 24). Diabetes. American Dental Association. Retrieved October 12, 2022, from

Diabetes rates continue to climb in Canada. Diabetes Canada Website. (2022, March 3). Retrieved October 12, 2022, from

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