World Diabetes Day takes place today (14/11). It is estimated that 3,5 million South Africans, about 6% of the population, reported in 2012, suffer from diabetes, and many more remain undiagnosed. Gum disease is a possible complication of diabetes. Emerging research has found that the relationship between severe gum disease and diabetes may be two-way. Diabetics are more susceptible to serious gum disease, and gum disease can potentially affect blood glucose control which, in turn, can contribute to the progression of diabetes. Signs of gum disease can include red, sore, bleeding or swollen gums, loose teeth and chronic bad breath. Research shows that there is an increased prevalence of gum disease among those with diabetes, with serious gum disease being added to the list of oOther complications associated with diabetes include heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.