Portrait of smiling senior woman sitting in dental chair and listening to female dentist calming her and explaining something about treatment. People at the dentist office concept

Diabetes and Oral Health: Navigating the Interplay with Periodontal Disease

Having high blood sugar levels can significantly increase your risk of developing periodontal disease. Both these entities are considered to be interlinked. Diabetes is one of the most crucial risk factors that can predispose you to develop periodontal disease. 

This interlink can be well explained by the San Jose dentist, who facilitates extensive dental services to prevent gum diseases or halt their progression. 

What do you mean by periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is the inflammation and destruction of the gingival tissues and the underlying bone, causing severe attachment and tooth loss. 

Diabetes is a chronic illness characterized by increased blood sugar levels. Type 1 diabetics do not produce any insulin, while type 2 diabetics are unable to regulate insulin levels that increase the glucose levels in the blood. 

What is the link between diabetes and periodontal disease?

Poor oral hygiene 

  • Improper brushing techniques can pave the way for bacterial infiltration. The bacteria can ingest the excess sugar present between the teeth and invade the tissues more freely subgingivally. This can have detrimental effects on your body’s metabolic activities.

Increased blood sugar levels 

  • Severe forms of periodontal disease can elevate the blood sugar levels in your body. This prolongs the time that the body has to function with increased blood glucose levels. This provides nutrition to the already existing bacteria that worsen periodontal problems. 

Abnormal thickening of the blood vessels 

  • Thickening of the blood vessels is one of the major complications of diabetes. These vessels help to deliver nutrients to tissues and remove waste products. With diabetes, these vessels do not perform their normal functions compromising the resistance of the gingival tissues, leading to infection and gum disease.

Unhealthy habits like smoking

  • Smoking can negatively impact the health of your oral tissues through a slow healing process. For diabetics who smoke the risk of periodontal disease is exponentially more. 

How can you treat periodontal disease if you are a diabetic?

Simple nonsurgical procedures like scaling and root planing are performed to remove plaque and tartar and eliminate the residual bacteria. This can lower the HbA1c (hemoglobin molecule blood test) count by 20% in six months. 

You may also be prescribed antibiotics in the form of topical application to treat infection and promote healing.


It is essential to control diabetes to halt the progression of periodontal disease. High glucose levels favor bacterial colonization and cause further damage to the oral tissues. However, proper home care, oral health maintenance, and medicated mouthwash are essential to curb bacterial invasion.