A recent study looked at the rates of tooth loss in patients with and without diabetes. The results of the study showed that people with diabetes were more than twice as likely to lose all of their teeth as people without diabetes.
Results of Dental Loss
Tooth loss can lead to difficulty with many facets of your life:
- Inability to chew your food well;
- Inability to speak clearly;
- Decreased self-confidence;
- Increased social stigma;
Diabetes is a major catalyst for periodontal disease induced tooth loss. For the near future, baby boomers will continue to suffer the consequences of diabetes and its adverse affect on dental health. Further into the future, to help the millennials from going toothless into their retirement years, increased vigilance and dental intervention will still be required – until a diabetes cure is found that is. The insidious nature of diabetes’ effect on gums and teeth aggravates periodontal disease making it more difficult to treat and manage. In a diabetic patient, doubling down on prevention is the key for successful avoidance of tooth loss due to periodontal disease.
Diabetes and Gum Disease prevalence
The results of both American and Canadian dental research explicitly showed that 28 percent of diabetics, in a given age group, had lost all teeth. This compared to only 14 percent of those patients without diabetes. This is a finding that is common in other parts of the world as well. These statistics are largely due to long term untreated or under treated gum disease and tooth decay, in diabetic adults.
A close look at data regarding our diabetic patient population reveals that they are from all social strata and educational levels. Although all diabetic patients universally suffer the dental deteriorations that are side effects of this disease, some studies have reported that the patients in low income and less education bracket were more likely to have complete tooth loss. Lack of access to dental care and information on home care were cited as cofactors. Smoking cigarettes, is also a catalyst for tooth loss and may or may not be tied to the income or education level. However, effect of a smoking habit added to a mix of periodontal disease with diabetes requires much more aggressive treatment. And, the results of dental treatment is less predictable.
Diabetes and tooth loss
In one study, people with diabetes were missing an average of 10 teeth, compared to 7 teeth for people without diabetes. Complete tooth loss is called Edentulism, and out of every five cases in Canada and the USA, one is linked to diabetes. This emphasizes the need for patients to be informed about the side effect of diabetes upon their dental health and probable tooth loss.
Appropriate Oral Hygiene and Dental Intervention
Intervention by expert professional health care providers such as a dentists and dental hygienist can lead to successful treatment of oral disease in the diabetes patient. A dental exam, early diagnosis, and aggressive treatment can help a diabetic patient retain their teeth – despite having diabetes. It requires perseverance on the part of the patient to make sure they receive expert dental care. This means that the patient must make an investment to address their dental needs as well as their diabetes.
Contact our friendly professional dental experts at Cosmo Dental Centre to make an appointment for your dental health and a bright smile that you have always wanted.