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Oral soft tissues inflammation in diabetes

High blood sugar makes you susceptible to a inflammation in the soft tissues of mouth, i.e. gingivitis. The inflammation can develop into an infection of the attachment tissue of the tooth i.e. periodontitis.

In the image is a mouth with severe gingivitis, an inflammation of the soft tissue caused by bacterial plaques throughout the entire mouth. Image: The Finnish Dental Association.
Gingivitis is a soft tissue inflammation caused by the bacteria covering it. Image: The Finnish Dental Association.

If the microbes in the mouth are not removed regularly enough, they can cause the gums to become inflamed. The most typical symptom is bleeding when brushing the teeth. However, things like smoking or the excessive gum growth caused by some medicines can reduce visible bleeding, in which case the gingivitis may not be discovered until in an examination performed by a professional.

Gingivitis is prevented and treated by better self-care and mechanically removing bacterial plaque. Teeth should be brushed twice a day and floss used regularly. If the film of bacteria is not removed, it will harden and form tartar on the surface of the teeth and under the gum, further advancing the inflammation. At that point, it is necessary to have the tartar removed by an oral health specialist and monitor the situation on a regular basis.

The oral health of a person with diabetes should be regularly checked. The examination and treatment frequency depends on the person.

Updated 8.11.2023