We continue to move closer to seeing a quick test in your dentist’s office as a way to diagnose diabetes. So, your dentist may soon be doing such routine checks as many now take a patient’s blood pressure. Dentists do look for signs now, such as if a patient complains of or shows symptoms of dry mouth or if a patient is slow to heal after a procedure.
Experts say having dentists do such tests and continue looking for the signs of an undiagnosed case of diabetes (as well as high blood pressure) will help save lives.
One of the latest developments in diagnosing diabetes was noted in a study by New York University and published in the American Journal of Public Health. The study shows that a test easily done at a dental office can help expose undiagnosed diabetes for patients.
The report is important because some people see their dentist more regularly than they see a primary care doctors for such things as an annual physical. Here’s a quote from the NYU study (http://www.nyu.edu/about/news-publications/news/2015/02/26/nyu-study-successfully-screens-for-diabetes-at-dental-visits-using-oral-blood.html):
“In light of findings from the study, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct diabetes screening among at-risk, undiagnosed patients – an important first step in identifying those who need further testing to determine their diabetes status,” according to Dr. Shiela Strauss, associate professor of nursing for NYU’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry.
Look for additional research in this field and look for your dentist to be