Blood Sugar, Type-2 Diabetes, and Oral Health: What’s the Connection?

Close up view of man undergoing laser tooth whitening treatment to remove stains and discoloration.High blood sugar is known to wreak havoc on the human body. It can impair vision and mobility, promote inflammation, and lead to type-2 diabetes.

If it’s not kept in check, you’re at risk for all of these conditions and more.


But a new study is showing associations between oral hygiene and blood sugar management.

The research suggests that regular tooth-brushing is associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes. On the other hand, people with poor oral health are at a greater risk for the condition.

But does brushing your teeth really have the potential to limit your risk for diabetes?

It’s quite hard to tell.

Poor oral health, like gum disease, cavities, lost teeth, etc., is closely associated with type-2 diabetes. But diabetes can cause these conditions. High blood sugar can promote cavities and gum disease, and many of the same high-sugar foods that contribute to tooth decay also lead to high blood sugar. If not managed, it can result in diabetes.

Researchers from this new study believe the mouth could be a gateway for bacteria to enter the bloodstream and trigger an immune response. Systemic inflammation can play a role in impairing blood sugar metabolism, thereby boosting diabetes risk.


Essentially, they suggest that poor oral hygiene is another trigger for inflammation that can lead to diabetes and a number of conditions. They found that people who brush their teeth three times per day have an 8% lower risk of diabetes.

Although potentially helpful, your toothbrush should not be your primary weapon against diabetes. But that doesn’t mean oral health can’t indicate blood sugar levels. If you have problems with your teeth and gums, it may signal high blood sugar.

That information can be useful in helping you manage blood sugar and potentially prevent diabetes.

Author Bio

Mohan Garikiparithi got his degree in medicine from Osmania University (University of Health Sciences). He practiced clinical medicine for over a decade before he shifted his focus to the field of health communications. During his active practice he served as the head of the Dept. of Microbiology in a diagnostic centre in India. On a three-year communications program in Germany, Mohan developed a keen interest in German Medicine (Homoeopathy), and other alternative systems of medicine. He now advocates treating different medical conditions without the use of traditional drugs. An ardent squash player, Mohan believes in the importance of fitness and wellness.


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