Children with type 2 diabetes are more likely to have poor oral health than those without the condition, according to a new US research.
A recent study – the first to ever focus on dental hygiene in young people – looked at three different groups of children aged between 10 and 19.
A total of 49 children were studied, 19 of whom were classed as normal weight, 14 were obese and the third group was made up of obese kids with type 2 diabetes.
Senior author Dr Lucy Mastrandrea, University of Buffalo, said: “We found a trend toward more periodontal diseaseden in obese children with type 2 diabetes.”
Mastrandrea added that when it comes to young, obese people with type 2 diabetes they do seem to have access to dentists, but “do not routinely” attend appointments.
While the connection between oral health and adults is known among scientists – earlier this year a study found high blood glucose levels can increase the risk of oral health problems – the researchers of this new study say it is significant that this effect is similar in children.
“The most important finding of this research is that, like adults, children with type 2 diabetes appear more vulnerable to periodontal inflammation than normal lean or obese children,” said co-author Dr Frank Scannapieco.
“It provides justification for the need for additional attention to oral hygiene in children with type 2 diabetes.”
Mastrandrea and colleagues are now interested in further researching the connection between type 2 diabetes and oral health problems, and whether better dental care could prevent this association. The team also want to see whether there is a link between the mouth and type 1 diabetes.
The study’s findings have been published in the journal PLOS One.

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