Dental loss among ambulatory patients with diabetes

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Aims There is a high prevalence of dental loss among patients with diabetes. Understanding the factors that impact dental loss in this population will aid with developing new strategies for its prevention. Methods Using a cross-sectional study design, patients with diabetes presenting for routine clinic visit were evaluated with an investigator-administered questionnaire. Data were collected on demographics, dental history, duration, control and complications of diabetes. Results Among 202 subjects, 100 were female, mean age: 58.9 ± 13.2 years, duration of diabetes: 15.8 ± 11.0 years, and hemoglobin A1c: 7.7 ± 1.6%. Thirty-one patients (15.3%) had lost all their teeth and only 13 patients (6.4%) had all 32 of their natural teeth. Using multiple linear regression, older age (β = −0.146; 95% CI: −0.062 to −0.230), not flossing (β = −3.462; 95% CI: −1.107 to −5.817), and presence of diabetic retinopathy (β = −4.271; 95% CI: −1.307 to −7.236) were significant predictors of dental loss. Conclusions Dental loss is common in patients with diabetes and is associated with older age, diabetic retinopathy and not flossing. In order to reduce dental loss among patients with diabetes, regular flossing should be emphasized as an important component of dental care. © 2016 The Authors