Researchers from Duke University have found indubitable proof that diabetes makes you lose your teeth. According to them, adults with diabetes lose twice more teeth than those without and African Americans with diabetes are even at greater risk than white Americans.
The team has studied data from the National Health and Nutrition Survey between 1971 and 2012. Their findings show that even if tooth loss has been greatly reduced in the past 40 years, the tooth-losing rate still stays higher for persons with diabetes.
Published in Preventing Chronic Disease journal, the study has also revealed that among the studied populations of white, Mexican and African Americans suffering from the condition, the latter lose more teeth.
The research team, led by Huabin Lou from East Carolina University assessed data from more than 37,000 adults aged at least 25. The study has been divided in nine parts, assessing trends among white, black and Mexican adults with and without diabetes in a period of over 40 years. A decline of tooth loosing has been observed among both white and black population with diabetes but it still remained higher than for those without the condition.
Scientists find more and more evidence linking oral health to different chronic diseases, such as respiratory diseases, cardiovascular diseases and even cognitive decline. This makes the need of assessing oral health and teeth losing more important for both health care providers and patients.
As a limitation of the study, researchers admit that their findings regarding African Americans might have been influenced by a greater lack of access to dental care among this population.
As a result of their study, scientists emphasize the importance of oral hygiene and dentist visitation especially among people suffering of diabetes. Almost 50 percent of American adults have gum disease and most of them are diabetics.
Another recommendation for diabetics is to undertake foot exams, since many amputations happen to people with diabetes, given their poor circulation and the nerve damage caused by the disease.
Diabetes can also lead to complications like heart disease, eye complications, kidney disease, nerve damage and skin complications. It also makes infections more likely to happen and harder to cure.
However, diabetics can decrease the risk of complications by managing their sugar intake, by taking their medicine and by regular visits to their doctor.
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