AIMS/HYPOTHESIS: While there are plausible biological mechanisms linking oral health with cardiovascular disease (CVD) and mortality rates, no study, to our knowledge, has examined this association in a representative population of people with type 2 diabetes. METHODS: We used the Action in Diabetes and Vascular Disease: Preterax and Diamicron Modified-Release Controlled Evaluation (ADVANCE) study, a large, detailed, randomised controlled trial among a general population of individuals with type 2 diabetes. For the purposes of the present analyses, data from the trial are used within a prospective cohort study design. A total of 10,958 men and women, aged 55 to 88 years and with type 2 diabetes, participated in a baseline medical examination, during which they counted their number of natural teeth and reported the number of days that their gums had bled over the preceding year. Study members were followed up for mortality and morbidity over 5 years. RESULTS: After controlling for a range of potential confounding factors, the group with no teeth had a markedly increased risk of death due to all causes (HR 1.48, 95 CI 1.24-1.78), CVD (1.35, 1.05-1.74) and non-CVD (1.64, 1.26-2.13), relative to the group with the most teeth (a?Y22 teeth). Frequency of bleeding gums was not associated with any of the outcomes of interest. There was no suggestion that treatment group or sex modified these relationships. CONCLUSIONS/INTERPRETATION: In people with type 2 diabetes, oral disease, as indexed by fewer teeth, was related to an increased risk of death from all causes and of death due to CVD and non-CVD.