Boundary Implant Centre

Dr S. Boji

The digital smile clinic

Does being Diabetic affect my teeth ?


It is never really a thought for patients that your overall well-being is linked to your oral health.

We know that the links between the following are documented.


Heart conditions

Respiratory conditions


The most well-noted illness link is with diabetes type 1 and 2.


Why are they linked?

The reason for this is that poor oral hygiene leads to bad gums, bacteria which then inhibit the control of diabetes. It may well be that a patient does not know they have diabetes, but it could be detected by a dentist if they do see a patient with poor gum health that does not respond well to dental treatments for gum disease.

Diabetes prompts an inflammatory response in the body. In the mouth, this then leads to swollen gums. If left your gums will then begin to detach from your teeth.

As your gums move, deep pockets begin to form between teeth and gums. We then see the start of infections.

Diabetes creates high levels of sugar in your saliva, a condition that then starts infections

If you do suffer from reduced saliva flow due to diabetes this, then raises your risk of tooth decay. Many people with diabetes also complain of a dry mouth, possibly caused by medication.

One main function of saliva is to wash away the germs that cause cavities and neutralize the acids they produce. With less saliva, you are more prone to tooth decay


Why are there many people undiagnosed?

We hear the word ‘gum disease’ but many people do not even know they have it.  It is estimated that around 3.9 million people have undiagnosed diabetes approx. 90% are type 2 but most are not in need of insulin.

Why does this affect dentists?

If you are undiagnosed and it is the cause of your poor gum health it will just take us longer to establish why our treatments were not helping.

If you have diabetes and you’re over 50, your risk is even higher. Dental problems and age go together, whether you have diabetes.

One of the first steps to take is to be checked out by a dentist to see how much gum disease you have. We do this by measuring pockets between tooth and gum, alongside visual checks to see how your gums look.

If you do show signs of gum disease but do not respond well to the treatment we would look to test to see if the cause may well be undiagnosed diabetes.


What should I do now?

Therefore, going to the dentist should not just be when you are in pain.

All too often we hear these words, and it is very important for us to stress that dentists are not here to just treat emergencies.

Regular dental check-ups can save your life.

Rest assured we can help, call 01273 418404