Oral Health : Gum Disease Linked to Diabetes

More than 90 percent of those with gum disease may be at risk for diabetes, U.S. researchers say.

Researchers at New York University Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing researchers suggest people with gum -- periodontal -- disease should be screened for diabetes, possibly while at the dental office.

The study was based on data from 2,923 adult participants enrolled in the 2003-2004 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted to assess U.S. adult and child health and nutritional status.

Dr. Shiela Strauss of NYU's Colleges of Dentistry and Nursing and colleagues, using American Diabetes Association guidelines, found 93 percent of subjects with periodontal disease were at high risk for diabetes.

High blood pressure and having a first-degree relative with diabetes were reported in a significantly greater number of subjects with periodontal disease than in subjects without the disease.

Three in five of those with gum disease reported a dental visit in the past two years, half in the past year and one-third in the past six months, the study says.

"In light of these findings, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct an initial diabetes screening," Straus says in a statement.

Date: Dec 20, 2009 URL: www.upi.com Copyright 2009 by United Press International

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