What Is the Most Common Diabetic Dental Emergency?

What Is the Most Common Diabetic Dental Emergency?

Apr 15, 2022

People with diabetes can run into problems if their blood sugar levels and insulin are not controlled. Generally, individuals with diabetes can correct the issues and stop the symptoms from worsening. Unfortunately, if you do not take the right actions to manage your diabetes, you might need help from professionals to save your life.If you have diabetes, we will recommend scheduling a consultation with the specialist at Weymouth Dental Associates in Weymouth, MA, about the actions you can take to prevent an emergency.

What Problems Can Occur If You Are a Diabetic?


Hypoglycemia is the technical term used by medical professionals to signify low blood sugar. Hypoglycemia occurs if you have too much insulin compared to glucose in your blood. “Insulin shock” is another term used for hypoglycemia.

Low blood sugar is the most common symptom for those with type I or type II diabetes. People who have diabetes usually take insulin and other medications to manage their blood sugar on a daily basis. These patients are still susceptible to hypoglycemia if they skip a meal, overindulge in exercise, drink alcohol, or take too much insulin.

Identifying low blood sugar levels is not challenging for most people because of early warning signs like shaking and strong hunger. However, hypoglycemia needs treatment as soon as possible to prevent more severe conditions that might lead to a seizure or diabetic coma.

When you have diabetes, high blood sugar levels can affect your entire body, including your teeth and gums. However, prevention is in your hands if you are prepared for what you are up against.

Cavities, Gum Disease, and Other Problems

Managing blood sugar levels is crucial whether you have type I or type II diabetes. The higher your blood sugar levels, you risk encountering the following serious conditions:

Tooth Decay

Your mouth is home to up to 700 different species of bacteria. When starches and sugars in foods and beverages interact with the bacteria in your mouth, a sticky film called plaque develops on your teeth. The plaque deposits toxins on your teeth to attack the surfaces of the tooth enamel and dentin. The development of plaque can result in cavities and gum disease over time.

When your blood sugar levels are high, the amount of sugars and starches in your mouth is higher, resulting in more frequent contact with acids that wear away your tooth enamel.


Your ability to battle the bacteria is compromised with diabetes. When you don’t remove plaque with regular brushing and flossing, it hardens into tartar. The longer plaque and tartar stay in your mouth, the more they irritate your gums around your gingiva. With time, you might find that your gums swell and bleed easily. This condition is called “early gum disease” or “gingivitis”.

Advanced Gum Disease

When you ignore gingivitis, it results in a severe infection called periodontitis. Conditions like periodontitis destroy the soft tissue and bone supporting your teeth. Periodontitis also causes your gums and jawbone to pull away from the teeth causing them to loosen and fall out.

Periodontitis is usually severe among people with diabetes because the condition lowers your resistance to infections and slows recovery. The disease also causes your blood sugar levels to rise, making diabetes challenging to control. However, if you treat periodontitis with regular professional exams and cleanings, you can prevent the condition from spreading and improve control of your blood sugar.


If you have diabetes, you will likely develop thrush, a fungal infection caused by the yeast Candida albicans. Symptoms of thrush include painful white or red patches inside your mouth. You can prevent thrush from developing by regularly practicing good oral hygiene and consulting a professional. Our dentists in Weymouth, MA are specially trained to manage and control thrush.


If you are diabetic, you might also experience a lack of saliva in your mouth; a condition called dry mouth. It is important to maintain a healthy amount of saliva in your mouth because the saliva acts as a natural cleaning mechanism for your teeth and gums by flushing away bacteria. A lack of saliva causes bacteria to sit in your mouth longer and will make you more prone to tooth decay, gum disease, and thrush.

How to Deal with the Conditions Mentioned?

If you have diabetes, the optimal way to deal with the conditions described is to commit to managing your blood sugar and maintain excellent oral hygiene practices. You must brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss at least once. If you have Dry Mouth, we recommend brushing your teeth after every meal. Besides regular maintenance at home, it helps to consult a professional regularly for exams and cleanings.

To avoid any dental emergencies caused by diabetes requires a long-term commitment to your overall health, including proper dental care. If you do find yourself in an emergency, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our emergency dentist in Weymouth, MA at Weymouth Dental Associates.

If you or someone your love is affected by any of the complications associated with diabetes, please do not hesitate to schedule an appointment with Weymouth Dental Associates to receive the professional attention you need.

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