While diabetes mellitus increases the risk of getting periodontal disease (gum disease), having gum disease can make it more difficult to manage your diabetes. With diabetes, there are higher levels of glucose in the blood. While the actual cause of diabetes is unknown, there are excellent medical treatments available to help you live well with this chronic (long-term) condition. By managing your diabetes daily, you can avoid many of the complications such as periodontal disease. Talk openly with your dentist about gum disease and the health of your gums and teeth. Ask what you can do to prevent or manage the gum disease with routine care each day and medical or dental treatment, if necessary.