A recent study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association analyzes data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) to determine the connection between tooth loss and diabetes.
By examining self-reported diabetes and oral examination data during the NHANES’s 2003-2004 cycle, the authors determined number of missing teeth and the prevalence of edentulism among dentate individuals, using multiple regression analyses to associate between tooth loss and diabetes.
According to the article, the frequency of edentulism among those with diabetes as 28%, while the occurrence among those without was only 14%. The multiple regression analysis showed that those with diabetes are more likely to be edentulous than those without. Also, among dentate adults, having a higher number of missing teeth was more prevalent in those with diabetes.
As a result, the researchers concluded that diabetic individuals are at a greater risk of experiencing tooth loss than those without, the practical implications of which include the need to recognize the effect of tooth loss on patients’ overall quality of life.