People with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are prone to tooth decay.
Scientists from Rutgers found that this is because they have reduced the strength and durability of enamel and dentin, the hard substance under enamel that gives structure to teeth.
The research is published in the Archives of Oral Biology and was conducted by Mohammad Ali Saghiri et al.
Doctors have long seen elevated rates of cavity formation and tooth loss in patients with diabetes, and they have long known that treatments such as fillings do not last as long in such patients.
Previous studies have shown that people with both types of diabetes have much higher risks of most oral health issues, both in the teeth and the soft tissues that surround them.
In the study, the team aimed to understand how diabetes affects dental health and to develop treatments that counter its negative impact.
They found enamel grew significantly softer in the diabetic mice after 12 weeks, and the gap continued to widen throughout the study. Strong differences in dentin microhardness arose by week 28.
The team also showed that diabetes can interfere with the ongoing process of adding minerals to teeth as they wear away from normal usage.
The researchers say 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.
If you care about tooth health, please read studies that gum disease may increase your cancer risk, and common heartburn drugs may benefit your tooth and gum health.
For more information about diabetes, please see recent studies about a cure for type 2 diabetes, and results showing diabetes drug metformin may reverse liver inflammation.
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