Dental Visits May Lead to Diabetes Detection

A prediabetes diagnosis can be made during a basic dental visit.

The information comes from a recent Columbia University College of Dental Medicine study. The study appeared in the Journal of Dental Research.

The research could have a major impact for people that develop Type 2 diabetes. Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 diabetes comes mainly from a bad diet. If it’s detected early, it will be prevented from progressing into a more serious problem.

The study analyzed the information from 530 adults that had at least one of the risk factors for diabetes. The patients then received a periodontal exam and a hemoglobin test. The patients returned for a plasma glucose test to determine whether or not they had diabetes.

The ability to determine whether or not the patient had diabetes was as simple as looking at two factors. The number of missing teeth and the percentage of deep periodontal pockets were all it took to determine if someone had prediabetes or diabetes. The algorithm was even more effective after adding the hemoglobin component.

The reason this information is so important is because periodontal disease is one of the first complications that stems from diabetes.

There are now more than 25 millions Americans that have diabetes. More than 90 percent of the cases are Type 2 diabetes.