Did you know?

Your dentist or dental hygienist may be able to tell if you have diabetes before you even know you do? Clues in the mouth, medical symptoms you are experiencing and reporting to them, and even a chairside test done right in the dental office can help your dentist determine that further testing for diabetes is necessary

A dentist can examine your mouth for clues of diabetes. There are signs in the mouth associated with diabetes:

-Periodontal disease
-Dental caries
-Burning mouth syndrome
– Oral candidiasis (common in those with poor glycemic control)
-Salivary dysfunction
-Neurosensory disorders
-Soft tissue abnormalities such as stomatitis or lichen planus
(Source: http://clinical.diabetesjournals.org/content/32/4/188.full)

Also, a patient that has 26% of periodontal pockets measuring 5 mm’s or greater or 4 or more missing teeth (not including the third molars), has a 72% chance of having a metabolic challenge. Diabetes is considered a metabolic disease.

Patients often see their dentist or dental hygienist more often than any other healthcare professional. Make sure to answer their questions thoroughly and accurately about your health.

Health risk factors for diabetes:

– Overweight or obese – BMI greater than 25
– High blood pressure
– Familial history of diabetes
– High cholesterol
– History of heart disease
– Other symptoms or complaints may include thirst, urinating frequently, constant fatigue, weight loss (Type 1), blurred vision, and uncontrolled infections even within the mouth (poorly controlled Type 2 diabetics).

Effective January 1, 2018, a chairside diabetes HbA1c (Hemoglobin A1c) test may be able to be performed by your dentist right in their office if they suspect diabetes or prediabetes. A patient with a test result of 5.7 or greater indicates a 92% chance the patient is metabolically challenged. At this point, your dentist can refer you to a physician for further testing.

Periodontal disease and diabetes have a direct effect upon one another. It is important to Dr. Britten to improve not only the oral health, but the overall health of each and every one of his patients. For more information on oral health and diabetes contact us at 727-586-2681.

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