Dental patients with severe periodontitis may have undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, Dutch researchers have discovered in a study that suggests targeted screening of individuals with worse gum disease could be a feasible way of picking up cases of diabetes at an early stage. Using a highly accurate finger-stick test for HbA1c, researchers found that they could identify new cases of diabetes. Their results in over 300 patients showed not only that HbA1c increased significantly with increasing severity of periodontitis but that patients with severe periodontitis were twice as likely to have suspected diabetes as patients with milder gum disease or healthy controls. The study, by lead author Wijnand J Teeuw, DDS, head of the periodontology clinic, Academic Center for Dentistry, University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues, was published online February 22 in BMJ Open Diabetes Research & Care. http://drc.bmj.com/content/5/1/e000326
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