Diabetes Forecast

Kids With Diabetes Not Getting Regular Dental Care

By Miriam E. Tucker , , ,

Wavebreakmedia Ltd/Thinkstock

The link between diabetes and gum disease is a two-way street: High blood glucose levels can cause gum disease, but inflammation from decay starting in the mouth may also lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. This has been shown previously in adults, but now researchers have found similar processes in children. They studied 49 kids ages 10 to 19—some with type 2 diabetes who were obese, others who were obese but didn’t have diabetes, and those at a normal weight without diabetes. Fewer of the kids with diabetes had visited a dentist in the prior six months (38 percent versus 85 percent for the others), and they more often had gums that were red and bleeding, rather than pink and healthy. The findings suggest that in addition to diabetes, lack of access to care could also contribute to these dental problems.
Source: PLoS ONE, published online March 2, 2017



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