Dental teams identify more than 8% of patients with undiagnosed diabetes

Dentists and dental teams identify more than 8% of undiagnosed diabetes diagnoses, according to researchDentists and dental teams identify more than 8% of undiagnosed diabetes diagnoses, according to research. 

More than 1,100 dental patients were assessed using a FINDRISC (FINnish Diabetes Risk Score) questionnaire and blood glucose test.

The former looked at risk factors such as age, physical exercise, consumption of fruit and vegetables and family history. Participants also underwent a basic periodontal examination.

As a result, dental teams were able to identify 96% of patients with undiagnosed diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Early detection

David Herrera is chief researcher for the DiabetRisk study and Professor at Complutense University of Madrid.

‘These findings mean that in at least eight out of every 100 patients who went to a dental practice and had the screening, diabetes or pre-diabetes was detected,’ he says.

‘Given the relationship between gum disease and diabetes, dental clinics are an ideal place for the early detection of this metabolic disease as demonstrated by our findings.

‘It’s also widely accepted that while many patients don’t visit their doctor very regularly, a large proportion of the population do visit their dentist. This enhances the role of dental practices as a key ally in promoting general health.’

Additionally, the study – which was sponsored by oral healthcare company Sunstar – supported the link between periodontal disease and a higher risk of pre-diabetes or diabetes.

Increased COVID risk

This comes as factors such as diabetes and obesity are confirmed to increase the risk of developing severe COVID-19 symptoms.

As the pandemic swept across the world, it became clear that the virus impacts obese people particularly hard.

One in four people in the UK who have died from the virus, also had diabetes for example. Obesity accounts for 80-85% of the risk of developing type 2.


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