In the treatment of diabetes-induced pathologies, beneficial results have been obtained with administration of antioxidants. Selenium is an antioxidant and essential trace element in living organisms. The aim of this study was to investigate the possible effects of selenium on the structural alterations of the mandible due to diabetes. In this study thirty-nine Wistar rats were used and a control, a selenium given control, a diabetic and a selenium given diabetes groups were formed. Experimental diabetes was induced by a single i.p. injection (50 mg/kg) of streptozotocin (STZ). The diabetic + selenium and the control + selenium groups were injected with a daily dose of 5 micro mol/kg/day sodium selenite (i.p.) for 4 weeks while the diabetic and the control groups were injected with distilled water. Mandibles of all the animals were excised and examined at the 5th week. High blood glucose level and low body weight in the diabetic group were not significantly affected by selenium administration. Furthermore, a negligible increase in blood glucose level was observed in the selenium given control group. Densitometric analysis revealed a significant reduction in bone density and presence of resorption in the diabetic and the selenium given control groups as compared to the selenium given diabetes and the control groups. In X-ray diffraction analysis, the reduction in peak intensity of the reflected light in both the diabetic and the selenium given control groups indicated a possible alteration in the crystallinity or a poor crystalline substance. Histological investigation showed that there was progressive resorption, trabecular and cortical irregularity and vascular proliferation in the diabetic and the selenium given control groups, whereas a more healthy appearance was detected in the selenium given diabetes group. The results of this study suggest the positive effects of selenium on diabetes-induced structural alterations in the mandible. However, the unexpected results in the selenium given control group necessitate further studies on the mechanism of selenium effects in organisms.