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Diabetes and Your Oral Health

The Importance of Good Oral Health in Diabetes Management

Healthcare continues to evolve, and new research confirms that good oral health is integral to good general health.  It has been found that this link is even more important for people with diabetes.


According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), emerging research suggests that the relationship between serious gum disease and diabetes is twofold. Not only are people with diabetes prone to gum disease, but gum disease may potentially affect blood glucose control which contributes to the progression of diabetic conditions or diabetes complications.

So, if you have diabetes, not taking proper care of your teeth and gums may increase your chances of diabetes complications.

Sunstar Americas, Inc. is working with The Joslin Diabetes Center to educate people with diabetes and dental care providers on the importance of maintaining a regular dental care routine as part of a comprehensive diabetes care plan. (Joslin is an independent, nonprofit institution based in Boston, MA.)

Key steps to help people with diabetes maintain healthy teeth and gums include:

  • Managing blood glucose levels
  • Visiting the dentist and/or periodontist at least twice a year
  • Keeping the dentist and/or periodontist informed of how well your diabetes is in control, including your most recent A1C number
  • If you wear dentures or partials, removing and cleaning them daily
  • Routine brushing, flossing and customized care as directed by your dental professional
  • Not smoking
  • Awareness of gum disease warning signs such as bleeding gums, gums that have pulled away from teeth, tender gums or loose teeth
  • Locate a Diabetes Educator to help you understand diabetes, and to learn tips on how to adjust your lifestyle and behavior so that you can develop the skills to successfully manage your diabetes at home. To learn more, click here.
  • Educate yourself through Self Care Videos and self behavior handouts.

Products that can be used to help ensure good oral health and conduct proper routine oral care:

GUM® Diabetes Home Care Kit — Our Diabetes Care Kit helps you care for your teeth and gums with clinically proven products.

GUM® Technique® Deep Clean Toothbrush — Unique design and extremely tapered bristles are exceptionally gentle on gums and tissue. (Replace your toothbrush every three months.)

GUM® Soft-Picks® —  Clinically proven to remove as much plaque between the teeth as string floss [1], the Soft-Picks are an ideal product for on-the-go. Their soft, flexible rubber bristles slide between teeth to remove food particles and gently massage gums.

GUM® Go-Betweens® Proxabrush Cleaners — The interdental brush removes food and plaque between tooth spaces.

GUM® Rincinol® Oral Rinse — Alcohol-free rinse helps prevent irritation from gum and mouth sores, and promotes fast healing.

GUM® PerioBalance™ — Daily dental probiotic supplement that comes in a mint-flavored lozenge, clinically shown to reduce plaque and promote healthy teeth and gums.


American Dental Association: Diabetes and Oral Health 

Diabetes and Dental Health: Understanding The Connection

[1] Yost, KG, Mallatt ME, Liebman J: Interproximal gingivitis and plaque reduction by four interdental products. J Clin Dent. 2006; 17(3): 79:83

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