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People with Diabetes Not Visiting the Dentist

April 3, 2018
by New York University, EurekAlert!


Adults with diabetes are less likely to visit the dentist than people with prediabetes or without diabetes, finds a new study led by researchers at NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing and East Carolina University’s Brody School of Medicine.

The study, published in The Journal of the American Dental Association, showed an overall decline in dental visits among adults with and without diabetes, but people with diabetes were consistently the least likely to obtain oral healthcare.

Research has shown a two-way relationship between diabetes and oral health. People with diabetes are at an increased risk for periodontal disease, a chronic inflammation of the gums and surrounding tissue and bone, while periodontal disease has an adverse effect on blood glucose control – which can contribute to the progression of diabetes. In fact, periodontal disease has been called the “sixth complication” of diabetes after issues like kidney disease, damage to the retina, and heart disease.

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