Diabetic Child and Gum Disease
Periodontal destruction can start very early in life in children with diabetes, according
to study findings published in the February issue of Diabetes Care. The results also show that
periodontal changes can become more prominent in adolescence.
Columbia University Medical Center, New York, assessed dental caries and periodontal disease
in 182 diabetic children between 6 and 18 years of age and in 160 nondiabetic controls.
No significant differences were observed between cases and controls in regard to dental caries.
On the other hand, children with diabetes had significantly more dental plaque and
higher gingival inflammation levels compared with nondiabetic controls. Children with diabetes
also had a significantly greater number of teeth with evidence of attachment loss (5.8 versus
1.5 in controls).
A highly significant correlation remained between diabetes and periodontitis after controlling
for age, sex, ethnicity, gingival bleeding, and frequency of dental visits.
This was especially true in the 12- to 18-year-olds.
Body mass index was significantly correlated with the number of affected teeth in children
with diabetes, but no correlation was observed with duration of diabetes or mean HbA1c.
"As periodontal diseases are largely preventable and progression of destruction can be best
arrested when identified in early stages, screening for periodontal changes and
implementing prevention and treatment programs should be considered as a standard of care for
young patients with diabetes,".
"This becomes even more important," they point out, "in the light of the emerging view that
control of periodontal infections in adults with diabetes can further have a positive
effect on the level of metabolic control in these individuals." (Reuters Health) Feb 07
Diabetes Care 2006;29:295-299.
See your dentist regularly to prevent your child from developing gum disease.