Skip to main content

Diabetes and Oral Health

A dentist can find signs of Type 2 diabetes during a regular check-up. That's important to help protect your teeth, gums and whole body.

Could you have Type 2 diabetes? Many people do and don’t know it. A regular visit to the dentist can find signs that you may have Type 2 diabetes, also called diabetes mellitus. 

Without care, diabetes can lead to serious health problems, such as kidney disease, heart disease, stroke, nerve damage and blindness. It could even cause death.

What does diabetes have to do with oral health?
People with Type 2 diabetes have high blood sugar. High blood sugar can increase how much sugar and acid is in the mouth. That leads to problems such as tooth decay, gum disease and many other health issues.

Diabetes makes it harder to fight infection and heal. So, it can make gum disease worse.

Also, gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar, which is already tough if you have diabetes. When high blood sugar goes up even more, people with diabetes are in danger of bigger health problems.

What are oral health problems for people with Type 2 diabetes?
People with diabetes have less saliva, dry mouth and a burning mouth or tongue. Also, the disease can cause gums to pull away from the teeth. Then teeth may get loose and fall out.

What dental care helps people with the disease or at risk for it?

Good oral health habits are especially important for anyone with diabetes or pre-diabetes. If that’s you, please follow these steps:

  • Brush your teeth after breakfast and before bed with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Whenever you can, brush after meals and snacks.
  • Floss at least once a day. 
  • Use mouthwash that kills bacteria.
  • Visit your dentist every six months.


DentaQuest is a purpose-driven health care company dedicated to improving the oral health of all. We do this through Preventistry® — our inclusive approach to quality care and expanded access built on trusted partnerships between patients, providers and payors. As one of the nation’s largest and most experienced Medicaid dental benefits administrators, we manage dental and vision benefits for more than 33 million Americans through a nationwide network of providers in all 50 states. Our outcomes-based, cost-effective dental solutions are designed for Medicaid and CHIP, Medicare Advantage, small and large businesses, and individuals. At the same time, we are expanding our footprint of more than 70 oral health centers in six states to deliver direct patient care in rural and underserved populations. Learn more at and follow us on FacebookInstagramLinkedIn, and Twitter.

Preventistry Pulse


The newsletter designed for anyone who wants to improve oral health for themselves, their families, customers or communities.