Poor dental health linked to diabetes risk

Researchers have warned through a new study that poor dental health could increase the risk of developing diabetes.

The study by researchers at City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California, points out that people with good dental health are at a decreased risk of and that those who have poor dental hygiene are more prone to the disease. The study suggests that dental examination may provide a way to identify the risk of developing the disease.

According to lead author Raynald Samoa there is a progressive positive relationship between worsening glucose tolerance and the number of missing teeth.

Researchers reviewed the records of 9,670 adults with 20 years of age and above who were examined by dentists during the 2009-2014 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. They analysed their reported body mass index (BMI) and glucose tolerance states by fasting plasma glucose, two-hour post-challenge plasma glucose, hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c), established diabetes and whether the condition was treated with oral agents or insulin.

The researchers recorded the numbers of missing teeth due to caries, or cavities, and periodontal disease for individual patients.

They also determined the relationship between glucose tolerance and dental condition by considering age, gender, racial and ethnic group, family history of diabetes, smoking status, alcohol consumption, education and poverty index.

The researchers found a progressive increase in the number of patients with missing teeth as glucose tolerance declined, from 45.57 per cent in the group with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), to 67.61 per cent in the group with abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT), to 82.87 per cent in the group with diabetes mellitus (DM).

The differences in the average number of missing teeth among the three glucose tolerance groups were significant: 2.26 in the NGT group, 4.41 in the AGT group and 6.80 in those with DM, the researchers noted.

The study was presented at the ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting and Expo.

About the author

Sindy Thompson

Sindy Thompson

From a health background, Sindy covers health and lifestyle news as well as medical research news from around the world.

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