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Tooth Loss Twice As Common Among Diabetic Patients

First Posted: Dec 03, 2015 04:34 PM EST

Tooth loss is twice as likely among type 2 diabetes patients, according to a recent study.

Based on new statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers found that black Americans with diabetes have the greatest risk of tooth loss as they age, when compared to white or Mexican American counterparts.

"They did indeed find there was a clear connection between tooth loss and diabetes, especially among African Americans," said American Dental Association spokesperson Dr. Edmond Hewlett, via CBS News.

During the study, researchers analyzed data on more than 37,000 individuals who were examined between 1971 to 2012 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to examine tooth loss trends.

Of course, known problems that diabetic patients have to worry about include vision issues and even amputations. But tooth problems are not talked about quite as frequently.

"This study sheds light on two important and timely health issues: the connection between dental health and overall health; and health disparities -- the degree to which diseases can affect some racial/ethnic groups more severely than others."

Fortunately, health officials noted that good home care of teeth and gums as well as regular dental checkups can help in preventing risk of tooth loss. Taking healthy management of diabetes is also important for overall health and dental care, as well.

The report is published in the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

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