World Diabetes Day - Diabetes Increases Risk Of Dental Disease

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8th November 2010, 01:00pm - Views: 1480

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Monday 8 November 2010

United Nations World Diabetes Day – Sunday 14 November 

People with diabetes three times as likely to have dental disease

Research has shown that people with poorly-controlled diabetes are up to three

times more likely to develop severe cases of the dental disease periodontitis - a gum

disease that affects the tissues and bone that hold the teeth in place. 

Principal Oral Health Advisor at The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne, Professor

Mike Morgan, is using World Diabetes Day to raise awareness of the link between

diabetes and dental disease. 

“It is now widely accepted that periodontal disease is the sixth complication of

diabetes after complications such as kidney, eye and circulation problems¹,” says

Professor Morgan.

Despite the increased risk of developing dental disease, Professor Morgan says that

people with diabetes can prevent the onset of gum disease by controlling the levels

of bacteria in their mouths.

“Increased blood sugar levels make people with diabetes susceptible to the growth

of oral bacteria. A healthy diet and thorough oral hygiene will help to prevent

bacteria lodging in the gum tissue and developing into periodontitis,” says Professor


How to prevent periodontitis:

Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and a soft brush. 

Take care to remove all plaque on and between your teeth and next to the gum


Floss regularly

Have your gum health checked and teeth cleaned by an oral health professional

Let your oral health professional know if you have diabetes

Tell your oral health professional the names of any medications you are taking

If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar level will reduce your risk of

dental disease. People with high blood sugar levels are more likely to develop 

severe gum problems.

Signs of periodonitis:

Bleeding or swelling of the gums

Loose teeth

Gum recession

Sensitivity to hot and cold



Cullinan MP, Ford PJ, Seymour GJ. Periodontal disease and systemic health: current status. Australian

Dental Journal 2009; 54:(1 Suppl): S62–S69

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Media enquiries:

Professor Mike Morgan

Principal Oral Health Advisor, Dental Health Services Victoria

Colgate Chair of Population Oral Health, The University of Melbourne

Tel: 03 9341 1156  Mob:0414 872 392

Kerryn Garner

Media Adviser, Dental Health Services Victoria

Tel:  03 9341 1134  Mob: 0449 508 393


World Diabetes Day is an official United Nations World Health Day established by the

International Diabetes Federation and the World Health Organization. It is marked

each year on the 14 November.

Dental Health Services Victoria delivers clinical dental services through The Royal

Dental Hospital of Melbourne and purchases dental services on behalf of the State

Government from more than 50 community health agencies throughout Victoria. 

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