Periodontal disease, also called gum disease, is a chronic bacterial infection that affects gums and bone supporting the teeth. The condition can arise for many reasons. Diabetes, unhealthy diet, and stress can add to your chance of developing gum disease.

Research suggests that the relationship between gum disease and diabetes is a two-way street. One disease impacts the other. Over time, it can become a vicious cycle.

People with uncontrolled blood sugar have a tendency to develop gum diseases more often and more severely. They're also more likely to lose more teeth than people who have their diabetes under control.

If you have diabetes:

  • Tell your dentist
  • Get regular check-ups every six months
  • Brush your teeth gently two times a day
  • Pay special attention to the gum line and floss at least once a day

With daily care and regular dental check-ups, you can have a bright smile — and keep your diabetes under control.

For an expanded library of gum disease and diabetes articles, go to the Diabetes oral health library.

The oral health information on this website is intended for educational purposes only. You should always consult a licensed dentist or other qualified health care professional for any questions concerning your oral health.