Predisposition to Diabetes by Teeth and Bone Structure

Patient

Q: Can doctors tell if a person has a predisposition to diabetes just by looking at their bone structure on an x-ray? I had a dentist ask me if anyone in my family had diabetes after she had taken x-rays of my teeth. I asked why she would ask that and she said that she could tell by my bone structure that I was predisposed to becoming diabetic myself. What makes this worse is that my dad was diagnosed with having diabetes a few months prior. Please help!

Doctor

A:   There seems to be an important link between dental health and overall health. Poor oral health such as cavities, loose teeth, swollen gums and discoloration, is linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease and respiratory ailments. Thus regular dental visits enables early detection and prevention of these diseases. However the condition of the gum linings and the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and the bones that hold your teeth may give an indication of the risk of diabetes. So  the detection of the inflammation, plaque formation or destruction of the surrounding bones and soft tissue may help your dentist identify the disease process.

There seems to be an important link between dental health and overall health. Poor oral health such as cavities, loose teeth, swollen gums and discoloration, is linked to an elevated risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lung disease and respiratory ailments. Thus regular dental visits enables early detection and prevention of these diseases. However the condition of the gum linings and the soft tissue surrounding the teeth and the bones that hold your teeth may give an indication of the risk of diabetes. So  the detection of the inflammation, plaque formation or destruction of the surrounding bones and soft tissue may help your dentist identify the disease process.


 

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