Patients With Diabetes Have Increased Risk Of Tooth Loss
Diabetic patients are nearly 1.5 times more likely to lose their teeth than people without the disease, according to a new study conducted by the University of Nevada and Emory University Schools of Medicine.
Researchers also claim people with diabetes have an increased risk of losing their teeth earlier in life compared with people of the same age without the disease. Diabetics also suffer more frequently from dental issues like gum disease, which can increase the odds of tooth loss down the road.
Despite identifying poor glycemic control as a contributor to microvascular (retinopathy and neuropathy) and macrovascular diseases (stroke and heart attacks), the negative effects of diabetes on oral health have received less attention.
Poor dental health
During the study researchers examined 202 diabetic patients who were overweight and were former or current smokers. Participants were asked questions about their diabetes history, dental care issues, osteoporosis and more. These answers were then crosschecked with each participant’s dental charts to ensure accuracy.
The results showed that 189 participants were missing at least one tooth. The findings fell in line with previous studies that claimed diabetic patients have lower awareness of proper dental health and are less likely to see a dentist than people without diabetes.
While researchers adjusted for factors like period of time with diabetes, smoking status and time since last dental visit, they confirmed that patients older in age, those that never flossed and people with diabetic retinopathy (complications that impair vision) lost more teeth than others.
The authors of the study hope their results will encourage endocrinologists to spend more time talking about oral health with their patients.
Source: MD Magazine