Taking care of teeth and gums is important for managing your diabetes.

Last updated: 04 May 2020

How can diabetes affect my teeth and gums?

Diabetes can cause problems such as:

  • Dry mouth
  • Teeth and gum disease

Gum disease also makes it harder to manage diabetes

Teeth and gum problems that you might see

  • Red, swollen or bleeding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Gums that are loose and pull away from teeth
  • Bad breath
  • Sensitive or sore teeth
  • Loss of taste
  • White patches on the tongue, cheeks or roof of mouth

What can I do to prevent teeth and gum problems?

  • Brush your teeth two times a day.
  • Use a toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Clean between your teeth using floss or an interdental brush.
  • Clean your dentures daily.
  • Visit your dentist at least once per year or as advised by your health care provider.
  • Manage your blood sugar levels.

What are my healthy choices?

  • Eat regular meals
  • Eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
  • Limit foods and drinks high in added sugars, saturated fats and salt
  • Choose water as your everyday drunk
  • If you choose to drink alcohol, limit intake and walk to your health care provider
  • Do not smoke - if you do, try and quit. Call Quitline 137848 for support.
  • Try to do 30 minutes of physical activities daily.

Everyone’s needs are different so please see your doctor/dietitian for advice.

What do I need to discuss with my health care provider?

  • Tell them about any teeth and gum problems
  • Inform them of any treatments a dentist has suggested

What do I need to discuss with my dentist?

  • Inform them about your diabetes and any other health conditions.
  • Tell them about any medications you are taking

How do I access dental care?

Phone numbers for NSW Public Dental Clinic Contact Centres

Local health districtPhone number
Central Coast1300 789 404
Illawarra Shoalhaven1300 369 651
Hunter New England1300 651 625
Far West(02) 6809 8621
Mid North Coast1300 651 625
Murrumbidgee1800 450 046
Nepean Blue Mountains1300 769 221
Northern NSW1300 651 625
Northern Sydney1300 732 503
South Eastern Sydney1300 134 226
Southern NSW1800 450 046
South Western Sydney(02) 9293 3333
Sydney​​(02) 9293 3333
Western Sydney(02) 8890 6766
Western NSW1300 552 626

* Proudly supported by the NSW Government in association with South Western Sydney Local Health District and Western Sydney Local Health District