Dentists could play an important role in diabetes diagnosis

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Dentists could play an important role in detecting the early signs of diabetes and diagnosing undetected diabetes.

Periodontal disease is an early symptom of diabetes and many of the complaints dental patients talk to their dentist about correlate with those suffered by people with diabetes. In some cases, the presence of deep periodontal pockets and the number of missing teeth may be sufficient information for a dentist to suggest further tests for diabetes.

One in four Americans has undiagnosed type 2 diabetes and the condition can become much more advanced if it is not diagnosed and managed effectively. Type 2 diabetes is often associated with other health complications, including a higher risk of heart disease and strokes.

Early detection and treatment are essential and health experts are eager to raise awareness of the symptoms and signs of diabetes and to find ways to promote early detection; dentists can now assist medical colleagues in the diagnosis of type 2 diabetes and this could make a significant difference, as many people visit their dentist more regularly than their doctor.

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