At our Denver holistic dental office, Dr. McGinty always strives to provide her patients with the latest oral health news. Dr. McGinty believes that the more educated her patients are about the risks their oral health can face, the better prepared they are to protect the health of their smiles.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the latest news in oral health care.
Can Uncontrolled Diabetes Lead to Tooth Loss?
Adults over the age of 30 experienced greater tooth loss if they exhibited signs of poor blood sugar control in blood lab results, reports the results of a recent study published in the journal Diabetes International. The research team came to their conclusion after reviewing the medical records of hundreds of thousands of patients. This study further helps to illustrate what Dr. McGinty always stresses to patients who visit our Denver holistic dental office – your oral health influences your overall health.
In their study, researchers examined the medical records collected on over 233,000 patients. The results support a strong connection between blood sugar control and tooth loss, concluded the research team from Shiga University of Medical Science in Japan.
“People at risk are being advised to take steps to better manage their glycemic levels and take steps to improve their oral care, including through smoking cessation,” wrote the research team.
Drawing a Clear Connection
When conducting their study, the researchers wanted to determine whether glycated hemoglobin A1c and fasting blood glucose (FPG) levels were connected to tooth loss. The goal was to understand the connection between tooth loss and blood sugar control by a patients’ age group.
Patients who participated in the study were between the ages of 20 to 70 years old. The researchers examined medical information for Japanese adults from 2015 to 2016.
The number of teeth a patient had remaining decreased in those with higher HbA1c and blood sugar levels in each age group 40 and above. The number of teeth a patient had remaining decreased for each age group with steadily worse HbA1c and FBG levels. For patients in their 40s and 60s, those whose blood sugar levels placed them into the category of being prediabetic had fewer remaining teeth when compared to those with healthy blood sugar levels.
“The largest ever research study into tooth loss and glycemic control in a general population has found compelling evidence that people aged over 30 with higher HbA1c levels and elevated FPG levels have fewer natural teeth remaining,” wrote the research team in a statement.
The risk of tooth loss increased even more in middle-aged patients who smoked and who had high blood sugar levels.
What Makes One Smile Healthier Than Another?
A study recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States of America uncovered a new type of inflammatory response to the buildup of dental plaque. This discovery may also just answer the question of why some people are more prone to experiencing tooth loss and the development of severe gum disease than others?
When plaque begins to build up on the surface of a tooth, the body causes inflammation to develop in an attempt to slow down that buildup. Previous research has shown that the body triggers two major types of inflammation responses: a strong, or high response, and a low response.
Patients who develop a strong response are far more likely to develop severe cases of gum disease when compared to patients who develop a low response. The more severe a patient’s case of gum disease, the higher their risk for tooth loss becomes.
In the study, researchers examined 21 generally healthy individuals between the ages of 18 to 35. The research team monitored the patients’ inflammation levels for seven weeks, during which time the participants had stopped all of their normal oral hygiene routines, such as brushing and flossing, to induce the development of inflammation.
How each patients’ inflammation developed greatly depended on their individual genetic disposition. Patients could exhibit similar levels of plaque buildup in their mouths, but how the levels of inflammation they individually experienced greatly varied. If a patient’s response to gum disease-caused inflammation is determined by their genetics, this could indicate why some patients develop more severe cases of the disease that lead to permanent tooth loss.