A new study by Mohammad Ali Saghiri from Rutgers University suggests that Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are prone to tooth decay. The study suggests that such individuals have reduced strength and durability of enamel and dentin. As a result, their teeth are significantly weakened and more susceptible to tooth decay.
The study was induced Type 1 diabetes in 35 mice. Using a Vickers microhardness tester, the researchers compared their teeth with 35 healthy control mice over 28 weeks.
Findings presented by in Archives of Oral Biology showed that the two groups began the clinical trial with comparable teeth. However, after 12 weeks the enamel of the diabetic mice had significantly softened. Notable differences in dentin microhardness became apparent by week 28.
As explained by the media outlet Eureka Alert, “The study advances a multiyear effort by Saghiri and other researchers to understand how diabetes affects dental health and to develop treatments that counter its negative impact. Previous studies have established that people with both types of diabetes have significantly elevated rates of most oral health issues, both in the teeth and the soft tissues that surround them. Saghiri and other researchers also have demonstrated that diabetes can interfere with the ongoing process of adding minerals to teeth as they wear away from normal usage.”
Mohammad Ali Saghiri said, “We’ve long seen elevated rates of cavity formation and tooth loss in patients with diabetes, and we’ve long known that treatments such as fillings do not last as long in such patients, but we did not know exactly why.”
“This is a particular focus of mine because the population of people with diabetes continues to grow rapidly,” Saghiri said. “There is a great need for treatments that will allow patients to keep their teeth healthy, but it has not been a major area for research.”