Warning Signs

As if this is not enough, diabetes can make things worse. Plaque is the main bad guy of gum disease. But diabetes can also be a culprit. Diabetes may weaken your mouth's germ-fighting powers. High blood sugar levels can help the gum disease get worse. At the same time, gum disease can make diabetes harder to control.

Often gum disease is painless. You may not even know you have it until you have some serious damage. Regular dentist visits are your best weapon.

While gum disease may not hurt, there are warning signs to watch for.

  • Bleeding gums when you brush or floss. This bleeding is not normal. Even if your gums don't hurt, get them checked.
  • Red, swollen, or tender gums. 
  • Gums that have pulled away from teeth. Part of the tooth's root may show, or your teeth may look longer.
  • Pus between the teeth and gums (when you press on the gums). 
  • Bad breath.
  • Permanent teeth that are loose or moving away from each other.
  • Changes in the way your teeth fit when you bite.
  • Changes in the fit of partial dentures or bridges.

If you have any of the above, see your dentist.

  • Last Reviewed: September 18, 2012
  • Last Edited: April 17, 2014

Articles from Diabetes Forecast® magazine:

Diabetes Forecast