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Advice for diabetic patients to reduce the effects of diabetes on periodontal health.

As a dentist in the Bronx we see a high incidence of diabetes among our patients. I sometimes think that we don't see enough education towards young people at schools about the effects of diabetes. Many would be surprised to learn that diabetes can severely affect your dental health in later years.


Diabetes is a debilitating condition that affects  your eyes, kidneys, nerves, kidneys and your heart as well as other organs. Unfortunately it can severely affect dental health.


Patients who have poor glucose control can expect poor teeth and gums and having poor tooth and gums will cause poor glucose control. It is a very unfortunate situation whereby poor sugar control increases your chances of periodontitis. This will only be worse if you are diabetic. Therefore having periodontitis will be harder to  treat and will cause you to lose more teeth.

A systemic disease such as diabetes affects the whole body and the worrying part of this chronic infection is that it is often hidden from a patient's view. This is a problem due to the fact when it becomes advanced it causes weak teeth, bone loss and bleeding gums that can be painful to chew. Eventually these teeth can become decayed and will require removal.


Below is some advice that every diabetic should follow:


  • If you have periodontitis make sure that you see the periodontist regularly.
  • If you develop an acute infection such as an abscess then this is considered a dental emergency and should be treated immediately, whether you have poor glucose control or not. The abscess may be causing the poor glucose control.
  • Have meals at regular times the same time every day. Pay attention to your carbohydrate intake.
  • People with diabetes should have their teeth checked every six months but my advice is that you should go every three months.
  • If you change dentist make sure that your new dentist knows that you have diabetes.
  • Reduce smoking or stop smoking immediately. This has a terrible effect on periodontal health.
  • If you wear dentures make sure that you remove them every day and clean them every day to prevent thrush. Thrush is a yeast-fungus infection that thrives on high glucose levels.
  • Use a gentle brush and use soft circular motions.

The most important thing is to find a periodontist that you are comfortable with and that gives you an honest opinion on your dental health. If you case is severe see the periodontist every three months. 

David Pinkhasov, DDS is a Bronx general and cosmetic dentist at Right Family Dental P.C. on Grand Concourse in the Bronx. He offers INVISALIGN, root canal treatments, dental implants, dental crowns andemergency dentist appointments. He gained his dental degree at NYU and has been practicing for 22 years. 



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