What the mouth has to say about diabetes. Careful examinations can avert serious complications

Postgrad Med. 1997 Dec;102(6):117-26. doi: 10.3810/pgm.1997.12.384.


Periodontal disease is a major but preventable complication of diabetes mellitus. Patient education, good glycemic control, regular dental care, appropriate diet, and a team approach that involves physicians, dietitians, dentists, and other health professionals offer the best chance for optimum care for these patients. Other oral complications of diabetes include tooth decay, xerostomia, candidiasis, and oral peripheral neuropathy. The mouth may also reflect secondary causes of diabetes, and oral examination may provide clues to diseases that coexist with type 1 diabetes. Truly, the mouth has much to say about diabetes.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diabetes Complications*
  • Humans
  • Periodontal Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Periodontal Diseases / etiology*
  • Periodontal Diseases / prevention & control