Tooth Loss in People with Diabetes
Tooth loss and diabetes are both common in older patients, and the two conditions have now been linked. Among people with diabetes, risks of total tooth loss are twice that of non-diabetic individuals. Awareness of this connection may help increase attention towards preventive dental strategies for patients with diabetes.
Impact of Tooth Loss on Health and Lifestyle
The effects of tooth loss can be far-reaching for those who experience it. With fewer or no teeth, people are less able to eat a wide variety of foods and often restrict their diet as a result, potentially causing nutrient deficiencies. For diabetic patients, this dietary restriction can cause worsening blood glucose control. Some people also feel self-conscious and depressed about having missing teeth, resulting in stress that can also worsen overall health.
How Common Is Tooth Loss in Diabetic Patients?
Researchers compared rates of tooth loss in patients over fifty years old with and without diabetes. Whereas patients with diabetes were missing ten teeth on average, those without diabetes had lost an average of seven teeth. Total tooth loss was also more common in diabetic patients. In fact, researchers determined that about twenty percent of all toothless patients had diabetes.
Like other dental problems, tooth loss is more common in patients with risk factors such as lack of education, low income, and smoking habits. Combined with diabetes, these risk factors will further increase the risk of tooth loss. Patients with diabetes can schedule a consultation with our dentist to find out how they can better protect themselves from dental damage.
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