5 oral health tips for people with diabetes

Friday, 31 August 2018
5 oral health tips for people with diabetes

People with diabetes have a greater risk of oral health problems, so it's especially important to manage your oral health. Here are some tips from the dental professionals at Inspiro.


Did you know that people with diabetes have a greater risk of oral health problems?

Diabetes has been linked to these these oral health issues:

  • Gum disease (periodontal issues)
  • Tooth decay (caries)
  • Dry mouth (xerostomia)
  • Thrush (candidiasis)
  • Slow healing following dental extractions.


Oral health issues linked to diabetes


Signs of diabetes related oral health issues include:

  • Redness, swelling, ulcers, pus on the gums or in the mouth
  • Altered/metallic taste and/ or bad breath
  • Black/yellow/brown spots
  • Pain
  • Sensitivity to hot or cold
  • Ill-fitting dentures
  • Fissured tongue (deep groves in tongue)
  • White appearance on tongue and cheeks
  • Redness at the corners of the mouth
  • Loose teeth

    Please contact Inspiro or your dentist  immediately if you notice any of the issues listed above.


Why people with diabetes have a greater risk of oral health problems

People with diabetes have a greater risk of of oral health problems because:

  • Poor blood glucose control leads to bacteria growth (bacteria loves the sweet environment) and increases the risk of infections. Dry mouth can also occur when blood glucose levels are high.
  • Medications for diabetes may cause dry mouth and taste disturbance, such as a metallic taste.
  • Hypo treatments such as sweetened fizzy drinks and lollies can lead to tooth decay.

How you can improve your oral health

You can improve your oral health by following the five tips below.

1. Keep your blood glucose levels within target

It is important to brush your teeth 30-60 minutes after a hypo treatment or chew sugar-free gum to reduce your risk of decay. You can also talk to our reception team about Inspiro's Diabetes Educator Nurse and associated programs on 9028 0153.


2. Follow a healthy diet

Healthy diet and nutrition

Remember to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. Talk to our reception team about Inspiro's dietetics and nutrition service on 9028 0153. 

You can find Inspiro's yummy dietitian approved recipes here.

3. Follow good oral hygiene brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste and flossing

If you have false teeth (dentures), take them out at night and leave them out. Clean your dentures daily with a clean tooth brush and water. Also clean your tongue and cheeks gently to remove bacteria.

You can find great tips on how to floss your teeth here.

Flossing sucks clean the easy way to floss

4. Have regular check-ups 6-12 monthly to reduce your risk

Talk to our reception team about Inspiro’s dental service on 9028 0153.


5. Avoid smoking

Talk to our reception team about Inspiro’s Stop Smoking Service on 9028 0153.


You can get help from the dental professionals at Inspiro

The dental professionals at Inspiro can help you manage your oral health, including:

  • Cleaning your teeth to improve and prevent gum disease.
  • Locating and treating any tooth decay.
  • Prescribing medication as required to help with oral thrush.
  • Recommending oral hygiene products for prevention and management of problems such
    as dry mouth.
  • Assessing your false teeth (dentures).

    It is important that you advise your dental professional of your diabetes, any associated medications and if your blood sugar levels are under control.


The dental professionals at Inspiro can help you manage your oral health

How you can access Inspiro's dental services

Inspiro has both public and private dental services available to the community. Eligibility criteria applies to access the public dental service. Waiting lists may also apply.

To discuss the dental services available and eligibility requirements, or to make an appointment, please contact our reception team on 9028 0153.

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About Inspiro

Inspiro is a local, non-profit community health service that provides dental, dietetics / nutrition, podiatry, physiotherapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy, diabetes education, counselling, exercise physiology, social and family support services from our Lilydale, Belgrave and Healesville clinics and various community venues. 

We have dentists to look at your teeth, health professionals to help get you moving and active, health services for children and older people, support if you are living with ongoing illness, podiatrists to look at your feet, someone to talk to about your mental health, and many other services to help you reach your own health goals.


INSPIRO LILYDALE: 17 Clarke St, Lilydale

INSPIRO BELGRAVE:  1616-1624 Burwood Highway, Belgrave

INSPIRO HEALESVILLE: 333 Maroondah Hwy, Healesville

Call us on 03 9028 0153