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Diabetes Dental Care

Keeping Teeth and Gums Healthy

Some suggestions for keeping teeth and gums healthy include:
  • Keep your blood glucose as close to normal as possible.
  • Use dental floss at least once a day. Flossing helps prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Plaque can harden and grow under your gums and cause problems. Using a sawing motion, gently bring the floss between the teeth, scraping from bottom to top several times.
  • Brush your teeth after each meal and snack. Use a soft toothbrush. Turn the bristles against the gum line and brush gently. Use small, circular motions. Brush the front, back, and top of each tooth.
  • If you wear false teeth, keep them clean.
  • Ask the person who cleans your teeth to show you the best way to brush and floss your teeth and gums. Ask this person about the best toothbrush and toothpaste to use.
  • Call your dentist right away if you have problems with your teeth and gums.
  • Call your dentist if you have red, sore, or bleeding gums; gums that are pulling away from your teeth; a sore tooth that could be infected; soreness from your dentures.


  • Get your teeth and gums cleaned and checked by your dentist twice a year.
  • If your dentist tells you about a problem, take care of it right away.
  • Be sure your dentist knows that you have diabetes.
  • If you smoke, talk to your doctor about ways to quit smoking.
  • Maintain good oral health.

Diabetes Dental Care and Your Dentist

Your dentist can help you take care of your teeth and gums by:
  • Cleaning and checking your teeth and gums twice a year
  • Helping you learn the best way to brush and floss your teeth and gums
  • Telling you if you have problems with your teeth or gums and what to do about them
  • Making sure your false teeth fit well.
Other things to think about when going to see the dentist for dental care relating to diabetes:
  • Plan ahead. You may be taking a diabetes medicine that can make your blood glucose too low. This very low blood glucose is called hypoglycemia. If so, talk to your doctor and dentist before the visit about the best way to take care of your blood glucose during the dental work. You may need to bring some diabetes medicine and food with you to the dentist's office.
  • If your mouth is sore after the dental work, you might not be able to eat or chew for several hours or days. For guidance on how to adjust your normal routine while your mouth is healing, ask your doctor what foods and drinks you should have, how you should change your diabetes medicines, and how often you should check your blood glucose.
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