Patients with Diabetes at Increased Risk of Oral Health Problems

Published Online: Monday, January 14, 2013
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Type 2 diabetes patients may be at a greater risk for periodontitis, according to a study published in the December 2012 issue of Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice.

Researchers followed more than 35,000 male health professionals from 1986 to 2006 to analyze the association between diabetes and the risk of periodontitis and tooth loss. Information on diabetes, periodontitis, and tooth loss was collected once every 2 years through a mailed questionnaire. The researchers also collected data on age, race, smoking history, body mass index, physical activity, eating habits, and alcohol consumption to eliminate any confounding variables.

Men with type 2 diabetes had a 29% increased risk of periodontitis compared with those without diabetes. Researchers also found that men with type 2 diabetes who consumed less fruit and vegetables than the study average had a 49% increased risk of periodontitis than nondiabetic participants. The researchers did not find a significant increase in risk of tooth loss in diabetes patients.

The researchers conclude that more studies are needed to analyze the relationship between fruit and vegetable consumption, diabetes, and risk of periodontitis, as few studies have investigated an association between these variables.

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