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Study urges dentists to offer in-office diabetes screenings

teeth xray.jpg

Over 90 percent of people with periodontal (gum) disease are at risk for diabetes, according to findings published yesterday in the online edition of the Journal of Public Health Dentistry.

In the study, a New York University nursing-dental research team determined that 93 percent of people who had gum disease, compared to 63 percent of those without the disease, were considered to be at high risk for diabetes. Researchers also found two risk factors-high blood pressure and a first-degree relative with diabetes-were reported in a significantly greater number of people with gum disease.

Lead author Shiela Strauss, PhD, said in a release that in light of the findings dentists should consider offering diabetes screenings in their offices. Stauss recommended dentists conduct initial diabetes screenings by either evaluating patients' risk factors or using a glucometer to analyze finger-stick or oral blood samples.

What do you think? Should dentists screen for non-oral health conditions?

Via Science Daily
Photo by Travis Hornung

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