Can Diabetes Affect Your Orthodontic Treatment?

Diabetes is a serious and often overlooked disease. It can lead to the development of oral health problems such as tooth decay, which will affect your ability to get orthodontic treatment years down the road if you don’t take care now. In this post, we’ll show you the links between diabetes and orthodontic treatment. Let’s get going.

Diabetes 101

Diabetes is more common than you might think. Only if you experience this disease close up do you realize the gravity of the issue. The harm caused by diabetes isn’t restricted to just the heart and blood. Orthodontic treatment may be affected too. Your diet plays a big part too. Periodontal disease is a side effect of diabetes and those who have it are two times more likely to get it. 

If you have diabetes, your body’s white blood cells are weakened so making it easy for gum diseases or cavities to attack. Another problem is dry mouth because there isn’t enough saliva to wash away food particles. This leads me on a tangent about how important flossing can be.

Diabetes can have a detrimental effect on the body’s blood vessels. These are responsible for delivering nutrients and oxygen throughout your system, including to areas like muscles in order to support their sustenance; when they thicken due to diabetes this process is slowed down because it becomes more difficult for these organs – both muscle AND fat tissue to get what they need.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is a serious issue that can lead to tooth loss. It occurs when bacteria build up on the surface of your teeth and gums, causing inflammation with swelling or bleeding in those tissues which may eventually loosen or lose their attachment points for proper chewing. 

Gum diseases also increases blood sugar levels and nerve damage but also cells become resistant to absorbing insulin. This causes an increased demand for sugars from the food we eat (which could make you more likely than usual to get diabetes.)

Dental caries, commonly known as “cavities” start out as a residue left behind by sugary drinks swishes around between our front teeth during meals. 

Braces and Diabetes

Orthodontic braces and periodontal disease both place a great deal of stress on the gums, which can result in complications for tooth movement during treatment. For example: In some cases, early termination may be necessary due to this increased risk from oral health conditions

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t just mean eating right and exercising, it also means managing your diabetes. To do this effectively you should follow doctor recommendations about insulin injections or other medication dosages.

They might need adjusting based upon changes in sugar levels as directed by blood tests results. Brush after every meal when possible even snacks will help keep those pesky sugars under control.

Traumas or infections with braces mean your teeth are more prone to issues. If this happens you need expert care from your provider. You can spot signs of pending issues easily:

  • Receding gums 
  • Swollen or tender gums
  • Bleeding gums 
  • A difference in your bite 
  • Sensitive teeth 

Smoking and Gum Disease

The Cleveland Clinic’s research on diabetes patients with smoking habits has found that if you have both these conditions then your chances of developing periodontitis are up 20 times more than those who don’t smoke. 

Fortunately, though, it is possible and necessary to prevent gum disease by controlling blood sugar levels as well as practicing good oral hygiene practices like regular brushing twice per day and after every meal with a fluoride toothpaste or mouthwash. This action will keep the bacteria under control before they cause damage.


A good oral expert will know how to deal with any issue you may have. If you maintain good oral health techniques, it’s likely that your smile will become perfect.

Diabetes and orthodontics are connected and needs addressing before any devices are fitted. Whether you want to get full orthodontic perfection or to address issues, we can advise you. Get in touch with our orthodontic office today to schedule your first appointment with Dr. McDermott.