What is Diabetes?

Diabetes is a metabolic disorder in  which the person has high blood glucose (blood sugar), either because insulin production is inadequate, or because the body's cells do not respond properly to insulin, or both. There is more than one type of diabetes.

  • Approximately 10% of all diabetes cases is Type I and usually develops before a person is 40 years old
  • Type II accounts for 90% of all cases
  • Obesity, especially those with belly fat; are at a higher risk for Type II diabetes

How diabetes is related to the mouth?

  • Gum disease is considered the 6th complication of diabetes
  • Uncontrolled Type II diabetes are at higher risk for gum disease<
  • Severe periodontal disease can increase blood sugar
  • Diabetics have a decreased ability to fight bacteria that invade the gums
  • Diabetics are at an increased risk to thrush (fungal infection in the mouth)
  • Medications can cause dry mouth (less saliva to wash away germs and acids germs create), which can cause soreness, ulcers, infections, and cavities
  • Poorly controlled diabetes will cause slow healing and increase your risk to infection after dental surgery

Family History Link

You inherit a predisposition to diabetes then something in the environment triggers it. In most Type I cases, people need to inherit risk factors from both parents. The family history has a stronger link in Type II cases, but obesity also runs in families so it’s hard to determine if Type II diabetes is caused from the genetic link or lifestyle factors.


Medical News Today
American Academy of Periodontology
American Diabetes Association

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