Here's something I wrote in a thread about donating blood, because doing that can increase the risk of teeth falling out in diabetics (apparently). Periodontal (gum) disease is a major risk for many diabetics. It's irreversible once it's progressed to a certain point. I only found this out once mine had gone too far. I was pretty angry with my dentists for never mentioning it. What happens is that high BG changes the environment in your mouth so that it becomes a tooth decay-promoting environment. Periodontal disease is caused by a very very low grade infection. It's pretty pointless trying to treat it with antibiotics. The only real way to prevent PD and it progression is to have fastidious dental hygiene practices. Most people aren't aware of its importance and don't have the energy to get it right year in and year out. The Pam Ayers poem I Wish I'd Looked After My Teeth springs to mind. There are other contributing factors to PD, such as needing medications that cause dry mouth. Saliva is protective of the teeth and gums. Saliva substitute products aren't very good. I sip water all the time. Other factors are smoking and heavy drinking. The end point of PD is that the retreat of the gums away from the teeth exposes nerve endings and you get real pain if these areas are accidentally touched. I need local anaesthetic around all of my teeth just to get them cleaned every 6 months. Eventually if you don't arrest the progression the retreat of the gums allows the infection to microscopically eat away at the face or jaw bone that holds each tooth snugly in place. Teeth get loose and eventually they can fall out or have to be removed. This is why some people have no or missing teeth. If they are unable to afford dentures or more expensive solutions, they stay that way. It is very sad because often they got PD through no fault of their own. Like me, they weren't told. They may also have mental or financial difficulties that become barriers to home care and regular dental care. Missing teeth can make it harder to get a job, so it is a vicious cycle. I hope this info is helpful to someone out there.