Why did my dentist suggest that I do monthly oral self exams for diabetes?

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Self-exams can help in detecting any oral health problems at an early stage, while still easily treatable and reversible. Gum disease is on oral health problem for which diabetics are at greater risk. Some early warning signs of this problem include swollen, bloody or tender gums, which you could visually detect during these self-exams. 

It is important to see your dentist if there are any changes in your diabetes or you detect any of these early warning signs.

The short answer to your question is: diabetics tend to develop oral infections more commonly than non-diabetics. If these infections are observed and treated earlier, the chances of healing are improved.

Dr. G.


Your dentist understands the possible effects that diabetes can have on your oral health. People with diabetes have a higher chance of infections, including gum infections (periodontal disease). By performing a monthly self exam of your teeth and mouth, you may notice warning signs of an infection that needs treatment by your dentist. As you do the monthly exam, check for any loose teeth, bleeding gums during flossing, or tooth or gum pain. See if you have ulcers or discolorations in the mouth. If you notice a dental or gum problem, see your dentist. Oral health problems are much easier to treat early on than if you wait weeks or months.  Sometimes treating a dental problem early is a simple process such as filling a cavity. If you wait to have dental problems treated, they can become more serious.

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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.