Why does my dentist need to know if I have diabetes?

If you have diabetes, you are at a greater risk of developing some oral health problems than are people who do not have diabetes. It's important to let your dentist know you have the disease as well as what medications you are taking and whether the disease is well-controlled.

Studies indicate that severe gum disease may be associated with diabetes but well-designed clinical trials are needed to establish whether a cause-and-effect relationship exists and to determine if, or how, treating gum disease may affect your overall health.

If you have uncontrolled blood sugar, you are more likely to experience symptoms like dry mouth, decreased saliva and bad breath, all of which may indicate that your mouth can't fight infections as well as it should. You may also have gum disease. Your dentist will work with your doctor to better control your blood sugar. This will help to prevent serious problems, and make you better able to cope with dental procedures.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.