How Can Dentists Diagnose Undetected Diabetes In Their Patients?

The next time that you visit your local dentist and they ask you to open wide for your exam, the dentist may find something more than a couple of unfilled cavities. A study conducted by the Columbia University College of Dental medicine states that there are two common dental conditions that can help dentists identify undiagnosed diabetes or full blown diabetes within their patients oral cavity.

People who have diabetes are generally susceptible to oral problems that are associated with their uncontrollable sugar levels. Higher sugar levels interfere with the body’s ability to enable the white blood cells located within the body to fight off various bacterial infections that may appear within the oral region. Without these white blood cells doing their job, your smile and your health can be adversely affected.

People that do not have their diabetes condition under control can experience a reduction in the amount of salvia found within their oral cavities. Whenever an individual is experiencing a reduction in the amount of salvia that their bodies produce, this condition is commonly referred to as dry mouth.

The condition known as dry mouth can lead to unexpected tooth decay, soreness and mouth ulcers. If an individual does not have their oral cavities serviced by a dentistry professional, the decay can lead to tooth loss in the future. People that suffer from diabetes are also prone to obtaining various gum diseases, such as periodontitis and gingivitis.

People, who do not suffer from the ailment, will generally be able to heal quickly from these types of diseases. However, individuals that are suffering from diabetes will heal a lot slower following any dental procedure or oral surgery.

Diabetes is quickly becoming an increasing problem all around the world. Early detection is one of the only ways to decrease the side effects of this disease from taking its course. The researchers at Columbia University have definitely been able to identify an unconvential way to diagnose this disease when it is in its earlier state.

Through various tests that were conducted at the University, researchers were able to determine which people out of their studies had unidentified diabetes problems. Most of the people that suffered with the unidentified disease would have various teeth missing from their mouths and deep periodontal pockets that were open in the areas where the teeth were missing.

These pockets were easily giving bacteria an area to grow and spread in. This would increase the patient’s probability of having dentistry problems down the line. A simple hemoglobin test was performed after these conditions were discovered in order to identify that the cause of the problem was undiagnosed diabetes.

What do these findings mean to you? Well, studies show that roughly seventy percent of people that reside in the United States visit a dentist at least once a year. This means that more and more people will be able to discover that they have this existing ailment, simply from sitting in their dentist’s chair. So, remember that the next time that your dentist tells you to open wide, who knows what news you can expect thereafter.

Claire Al-Aufi

Claire Al-Aufi is a contributing author for Hive Health Media who provides updates on health and fitness news.

2 thoughts on “How Can Dentists Diagnose Undetected Diabetes In Their Patients?

  • July 21, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    This sure is good news. I just hope that these dentists are made aware of these too. It’s all too common for them to not pay attention to these symptoms, especially if the patient rarely visits for a check up.

  • July 21, 2011 at 4:36 am

    Great tip for diagnosing diabetes from oral cavity. Diabetes is very common health problem and all dentists should be aware of the diagnosis.


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