More than 29 million people in the United States have diabetes - and nearly one-third also suffer from severe gum (periodontal) disease. Because diabetes limits the body's natural ability to fight off infection, good oral health habits are especially important to help keep diabetes in check. 

Why Oral Health Matters

People with diabetes are more likely to experience periodontal destruction at an earlier age then non-diabetics. Gum disease can also complicate diabetes by altering blood glucose levels. 

What You Should Know

Diabetes is the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Poorly controlled diabetes can lead to serious complications such as heart disease, blindness, amputations, nerve damage and kidney failure.

Research has found that diabetics who receive more professional oral cleaning are healthier and can better manage their blood glucose levels. It appears that for every one-point reduction in blood glucose levels, there is a 40 percent reduction in risk of diabetic complications of the eye, kidney and nervous system. A one-point reduction also appears to lower heart attack occurrences by 14 percent and diabetes-related deaths by 21 percent. 

What You Can Do

Be sure to take good care of your teeth and gums - and see your dentist for regular checkups every six months. Professional cleanings may help you better manage your diabetic condition.