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Dec 08, 2015 07:28 AM EST

Diabetes causes tooth loss, study says

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A new study conducted by researchers from Duke University shows that diabetes is linked to tooth loss, Beacon Transcript reports.

The report was published in the December issue of the journal Preventing Chronic Disease.

"We have more evidence that [poor] oral health is related to diabetes," said lead researcher Bei Wu, a professor of nursing and global health at Duke University in Durham, N.C., as reported by Medicine Plus.

The study revealed that the higher risk groups for tooth loss among the population of the United States include diabetics and African Americans.

American Dental Association spokesman, Dr. Edmond Hewlett, said that there was a clear connection between people with diabetes and an increased rate of tooth loss.

He added that the increased risk of tooth loss when suffering from diabetes had now been confirmed. Also, the African-American population was more susceptible to tooth loss.

For the study, the researchers used a sample of 37,000 patients from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey taken between 1971 and 2012.

The researchers concluded that even though tooth loss had decreased over the years, the prevalence of tooth loss in diabetics was of high concern, and even more so among African Americans suffering from the disease.

The researchers also noted that between the years 1999 and 2000, people suffering from diabetes were 34% less likely to have 21 teeth or more than those that did not suffer from the disease.

According to Medical Daily, researchers concluded,

" Given the bidirectional relationship between diabetes and periodontal disease, our study findings highlight the need to improve dental self-care and knowledge of diabetes risks among people with diabetes, especially among non-Hispanic blacks, who had more tooth loss and lost teeth at a higher rate."

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