New Consequences of Diabetes Identified

Researchers found that diabetes reduced the strength of the enamel.

Diabetes may cause tooth decay and weaken teeth.

Recent Rutgers University research may help to explain why people with both Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes are more likely to have tooth decay: lower durability and strength of dentin, the hard substance that underlies enamel and gives teeth structure.

35 mice with Type 1 diabetes were given an injection, and over the course of 28 weeks, researchers utilized a Vickers microhardness tester to compare their teeth to 35 mice without the disease. Although the two groups had similar teeth at the beginning of the trial, the diabetic mice’s enamel had become noticeably weaker after 12 weeks, and the difference had widened during the course of the experiment. By week 28, significant variations in dentin microhardness had developed.

“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,” said Mohammad Ali Saghiri, an assistant professor of restorative dentistry at the Rutgers School of Dental Medicine.

The research continues a multi-year project by Saghiri and colleagues to comprehend how diabetes impacts tooth health and to create treatments to mitigate its detrimental effects. Previous research has shown that most oral health problems, affecting both the teeth and the soft tissues surrounding them, are much more common in patients with both forms of diabetes. Additionally, Saghiri and other researchers have shown that diabetes might obstruct the process of adding minerals to teeth when they lose strength from regular use.

“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.”

Reference: “Diabetes negatively affects tooth enamel and dentine microhardness: An in-vivo study” by Mohammad Ali Saghiri, Nader Sheibani, Toshihisa Kawai, Devyani Nath, Sahar Dadvand, Saeid B. Amini, Julia Vakhnovetsky and Steven M. Morgano, 4 May 2022, Archives of Oral Biology.
DOI: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2022.105434

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