Diabetes affects 18.2 million people in the United States and is expected to double by the year 2010. Additionally, diabetics who do not have good control over their blood sugar levels are more susceptible to oral health problems than non-diabetics, according to a study that appears in the November/December 2004 issue of General Dentistry, the Academy of General Dentistry's (AGD) clinical, peer-reviewed journal.
Dr. Emil Kozarov and a team of researchers at the Columbia University College of Dental Medicine have identified specific bacteria that may have a key role in vascular pathogenesis, specifically atherosclerosis, or what is commonly referred to as "hardening of the arteries" -- the number one cause of death in the United States.
Periodontal disease may be an independent predictor of incident Type 2 diabetes, according to a study by researchers at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. While diabetes has long been believed to be a risk factor for periodontal infections, this is the first study exploring whether the reverse might also be true, that is, if periodontal infections can contribute to the development of diabetes.
Nurses who care for patients with dementia now have a tailored approach to dental hygiene for their charges, thanks to a pilot study by a team of nurses. "Poor oral health can lead to pneumonia and cardiovascular disease as well as periodontal disease," said Rita A. Jablonski, even though these illnesses are not usually associated with the mouth.