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Oral health may indicate a person’s diabetes risk: Research

People with poor oral health may have an increased risk of developing diabetes, a new study warns.

health Updated: Mar 20, 2018 18:35 IST
Indo Asian News Service, New York
Researchers found a positive relationship between the number of missing teeth people had and glucose intolerance. (Shutterstock)

You may be at an increased risk of diabetes if you are not taking care of your dental health, warns a new study which suggests that dental examination may provide a way to identify the risk for developing the disease.

“We found a progressive positive relationship between worsening glucose tolerance and the number of missing teeth,” said lead author Raynald Samoa from the City of Hope National Medical Center in Duarte, California.

For the study, presented at the ENDO 2018: The Endocrine Society’s 100th Annual Meeting and Expo, 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% in the group with normal glucose tolerance (NGT), to 67.61% in the group with abnormal glucose tolerance (AGT), to 82.87% 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.

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First Published: Mar 20, 2018 18:35 IST