As a family and cosmetic dentist in Clackamas, our staff at Sunnyside Dentistry strives to protect the oral health of all our patients. For some individuals, protecting their long-term oral health means more than just regular brushing and floss, especially for those suffering from diabetes.
Diabetes can negatively impact an individual’s oral health in a variety of ways, including nerve, cardiovascular and vision problems. But many people fail to realize how diabetes can actually affect their oral health, as well. Now a new study has uncovered the risks and reveals that individuals suffering from diabetes lose twice as many permanent teeth when compared to those without the disease.
The Impact Of Diabetes On Oral Health
Conducted by researchers at Duke University, the study found that while tooth loss overall has dropped in the U.S. over the last 40 years, individuals with diabetes remain much more vulnerable. African Americans with diabetes have an especially high risk of permanent tooth loss.
As part of the study, researchers examined data on over 37,000 individuals who were examined between 1971 and 2012 as part of the National Health and nutrition Examinations Survey to discover more about tooth loss trends in the U.S. among adults.
The researchers discovered that a clear connection existed between diabetes and tooth loss, especially among African Americans.
Researchers hope the results of this study help to shed light on two issues that have a great deal of importance to current public health concerns. The first issue being the overall connection that exists between an individual’s oral health and overall health, while the second examines the disparity in health among certain ethnic or racial groups.
Based on their findings, researchers found that while diabetes can place patients at a higher risk of gum disease, the condition also works the other way around, as well. Gum disease can cause complications with a patient’s diabetes by making it more difficult for them to manage. When combined with the access to care issues many African American patients face, diabetes and gum disease acts as a 1-2 punch towards tooth loss.
The authors of the study said of their findings that they hope it “highlights the need to improve dental self-care and knowledge of diabetes risks among people with diabetes, especially among African American who experience more tooth loss.”
The authors of the study recommended that individuals with diabetes take extra precautions with their oral care. While most patients will only need to visit a family and cosmetic dentist in Clackamas twice a year, individuals with Diabetes may need to schedule visits more frequently if their oral health requires additional care.