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Young children with diabetes may have to worry about periodontal disease. Gum inflammation and loosening of teeth can happen early on, and these periodontal conditions can become more prominent in adolescence, reported researchers in Diabetes Care (February 2006). The study included 182 children with diabetes between ages 6 and 18 and 160 children without diabetes.
The researchers found that children with diabetes had substantially more dental plaque and increased gingival inflammation levels, compared with the control group. Furthermore, the patients with diabetes had more teeth that indicated evidence of attachment loss5.8 teeth on average, compared with 1.5 in the children without diabetes. The researchers noted that diabetes was strongly related to periodontitis after taking into account many other variables. This was especially evident in 12-to 18-year-olds.