Texas Researchers Look At Diabetes & Dental Health

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Those suffering from diabetes must also deal with the toll the disease can take on their teeth. Researchers are trying to find out if correcting gum and tooth problems can lead to better blood sugar control.

Healthy eating is crucial to a diabetic’s diet, and there’s plenty of good food available. But in reality, many diabetics don’t eat what they should – because they can’t.

Patients like 64-year-old Ed Rabideau have shifting dentures. In the past dentists have offered him implants as ‘anchors’, since diabetics don’t heal as well as other patients. “You eat something and it floats around. You get food under it [dentures]. It’s very painful at times,” said Rabideau.

The University of Texas Health Science Center dental school is conducting a study to try and see if fixing poorly fitted dentures will help diabetics manage their disease better.

Patients have two implants placed where their lower canines used to be. The implants act like an anchor for the replacement teeth. “Once we place the locators inside their denture and snap them into place, the transformation is amazing,” claimed dental researcher Dr. Peggy Alexander. “There’s a relaxation that we see that is just phenomenal.”

The federally funded study also focuses on gum disease. Dentists want to see if aggressive treatment can help diabetics control their blood sugar.

The idea is simple. If diabetics have healthy gums, or dentures that fit correctly, they should be able to eat a healthier diet. With that diet will come improved blood sugar control.

Ultimately, improved chewing can mean a better quality of life. “I had problems biting through even a sandwich… to get through it. It would shift around,” explained Rabideau. “And it’s really made a change. If I’d have known it was going to be such a change, I would have done this a long time ago, paid the price.”

It’s recommended that diabetic sufferers see their dentist at least twice a year.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Sandra Clemons says:

    How can I get involved in this study? I am diabetic and dentures do not fit so I do not wear them. Eating can be hard.

  2. daniel middendorf says:

    I also would like to participate in this study.

  3. Susie Garcia says:

    I’m Diabetic have dentures but have trouble eating also, can’t eat meat. How can I be part of this study?

  4. Marye Phillips says:

    Just saw the news story on the diabetic/dental study. Would be very interested in speaking with someone from the study. I am diabetic and could be a great study case. How can I find out more information? Many thanks CBS 11 for running this story.

  5. Linda Barrera says:

    I ALSO SAW THE STORY ON CBS 11 NEWS AND I’M DIABETIC WITH LOOSE DENTURES. YES IT’S HARD TO EAT AND QUITE OFTEN I BITE MY LIPS BECAUSE MY DENTURES ARE SO LOOSE. I DON’T SMILE VERY MUCH AND NEVER IN A PICTURE. HOW CAN I GET MORE INFORMATION? THANK-YOU CHANNEL 11 FOR THIS OPPORTUNITY.

  6. Terry Starrett says:

    I saw the story on CBS11 news and I am a Type II Diabetic with perodontal disease. I would be very interested in the study. I am having my upper teeth pulled for a top denture on December 6, 2010. I am scheduled for a bottom partial sometime after the first of the year. Any information you could give me would be greatly appreciated. I would be very interested in being involved in this study. Please advise.

  7. Zack Stewart says:

    My father is interested in this study…He has been a Type II Diabetic since 1991 and his teeth are very bad now due to all of the medicines and he is to the point where it is very hard to eat…Please send more information about this study..it would be a great blessing to find out what is out there to help my father….

  8. Sandra H says:

    My diabetic mother wishes to get into the study as a participant. Is this still possible?

Comments are closed.

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