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Diabetes, hypertension and the need for more preventive dental care

Partners In Prevention 1As many as 1 in 4 older Canadians are diabetic, or in danger of this chronic disease. Likewise, more than 1 in 4 older Canadians have high blood pressure. The overlap of these conditions is common and makes for a lot of high risk adults sitting in the dental waiting room.

A new study reports that diabetes (Type 2) is an independent risk factor for reduced salivary flow (dry mouth); diabetes alters the function of the salivary gland.

The study also says that diabetes’ impact on dry mouth can be enhanced with anti-hypertensive medications. Specifically, metoprolol alone or in combination with enalapril and hydrochlorothiazide further reduce salivary flow in diabetics. Enalapril alone does not increase dry mouth in diabetics.

We know that diabetics have twice the level of dental decay as healthy peers. This study gives insight to why that might be the case.

A hygienist likely sees at least one diabetic patient each day, and likely that patient is taking multiple medications including blood pressure pills. This patient is significantly at risk of caries. Our studies show this patient expects and wants to be counselled on what can be done to prevent dental decay. Doing so is a sustainable and impact-full way to grow one’s hygiene practice in an aging community.

For more information, please visit:  http://www.partnersinprevention.ca

By: Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention – http://partnersinprevention.ca/diabetes-hypertension-and-the-need-for-more-preventive-dental-care/

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