Statement of Acknowledgement

We acknowledge and respect the traditional custodians on whose ancestral lands we provide dental services.

We acknowledge the deep feeling of attachment and relationship of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to Country.

We pay our respects to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to other Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people attending our services.

We are committed to improving the oral health outcomes of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website may contain images, voices and names of people who have passed away.

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Oral health & diabetes

discussion with boy in dental chair

People with diabetes, particularly if they have irregular blood glucose levels, have a higher risk of tooth and gum problems.

Tooth decay happens when germs (bacteria) in your mouth convert sugars into acid. Over time acid weakens the tooth surface, causing decay. People with diabetes may experience a dry mouth, which leads to a higher incidence of tooth decay.

Periodontal disease

People with diabetes have a greater risk of developing gum disease due to their lower resistance to infection and reduced capacity to heal.

Periodontal (gum) disease is an inflammation of the gums caused by a build-up of plaque and bacteria and if left untreated can affect the bone holding the tooth in place and lead to tooth loss. Inflamed gums may look red, and swollen and bleed easily during brushing.

Keeping your teeth and gums healthy

  • Brush at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste containing fluoride. Toothpastes that do not contain fluoride provide little protection against dental caries.
  • Gently clean between your teeth (e.g. flossing) each day, preferably just before brushing. Your dentist can show you how to floss effectively.
  • Spit the toothpaste out, but don’t rinse your mouth after brushing with fluoride toothpaste.
  • Visit your dentist regularly. Seek advice if you have mouth ulcers, sores, infections, or pain in your teeth or gums.
  • Speak to your treating clinician (doctor, dentist, pharmacist) if you have a dry mouth.

Wearing dentures

If you wear dentures:

  • They should be cleaned twice a day to remove food particles and plaque.
  • After a meal, remove dentures from the mouth and clean them with warm water, mild soap, and a toothbrush or denture brush.
  • Clean your gums and remaining teeth with a soft toothbrush and toothpaste.
  • Place dentures in a dry environment overnight after cleaning them.
  • If there is a build-up of hard deposits, dentures can be soaked overnight in a solution of white vinegar (diluted 1:4), then cleaned as usual.
  • Make sure they fit well.

Further information

It's also important to:

  • Choose healthy food and drinks.
  • Plain tap water is the best drink. Try sipping water to keep your mouth moist.
  • Rinse your mouth with water after sugary/acidic food or drinks (citrus fruits, soft drinks, juice).
  • Wear a mouthguard when playing contact sports.
  • Use chapstick or lip balm with a Sun Protection Factor when outside.
  • Tell your dentist if you have diabetes and always take the list of medications you take to your appointment.
  • Quit smoking call Quitline 13 78 48 – smoking can make gum disease worse. Your doctor or dentist can advise and support your decision to quit.