Diabetic patients are at risk of poor dental health as per a newly released study looking at the relation between diabetes and oral health.
Previous research has already shown that diabetic patients face higher risk of vision loss, nerve degeneration and cardiovascular disease. The findings of the new study also suggest that tooth loss and a poor dental health can now unfortunately be added to the list of ailments caused by diabetes.
Tooth loss rate was two times higher in diabetic patients than in those who did not suffer from the disease according to the study. African Americans are the highest risk category in the study. Doctor Bei Wu with the Duke University, Durham declared that the study proved the relation between poor oral health and diabetes.
More specifically, gum disease seems to be the root of all problems. Gum disease affects almost 50 percent of U.S. adults. However, it is prevalent in diabetic patients and leads to higher rates of tooth loss within this category. The data for the study was collected on 37,000 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey in the period between 1971 and 2012. The study is published in the Preventing Chronic Disease journal.
With the finding that diabetic patients are at risk of poor dental health, the authors also draw attention that dental care is also very important, particularly for diabetic patients. Raising awareness as to the risks implied by a poor dental health and diabetes should also prime on physicians’ lists.
According to the authors of the study, the American Diabetes Association has issued guidelines informing physicians to refer diabetic patients to a dental specialist. The reality shows that this is rarely the case.
The study found that poor dental health was prevalent in diabetic patients. At the same time, gum disease and tooth loss rates were higher with people who had been diagnosed with the disease. However, the link between gum disease and diabetes is two-ways. Gum disease, left untreated can lead to diabetes, while diabetes worsens gum disease and triggers higher tooth loss rates.
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