Adult Teeth May Come in Early for Children with Diabetes

The findings underscore the importance of regular dental checkups for children with diabetes.

Jun 19, 2008

Children with diabetes may develop their permanent teeth earlier than normal, which could increase their risk of dental problems, according to findings published in the medical journal Pediatrics.

Researchers found that 10- to 14-year-olds with diabetes tended to have their permanent teeth come in earlier than their peers did. Such accelerated tooth "eruptions" raise the odds of misaligned or "crowded" teeth--which, in addition to cosmetic effects, can make it harder to clean the teeth and keep the gums healthy.

It's not yet clear whether children with diabetes have more dental problems, lead researcher Dr. Shantanu Lal of Columbia University Medical Center in New York told Reuters Health. He and his colleagues are finishing up a study to answer that question.

For now, Lal said, the findings underscore the importance of regular dental checkups for children with diabetes.

The study looked at children 6 to 14 years old—270 with diabetes (mostly type 1) and 320 without diabetes. The researchers found that among children age 10 and up, those with diabetes were more likely to have teeth in an "advanced stage of eruption."

According to Lal's team, the reasons for the speedier tooth eruption may have to do with gum inflammation, which tends to be greater in children with diabetes. Gum inflammation may diminish the mass of the bones supporting the teeth, shortening the distance that developing teeth must progress to break through the gums.

Pediatrics, May 2008

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Categories: Adolescent Boys, Adolescent Girls, Diabetes, Diabetes, Kids & Teens, Oral Health, Research, Type 1 Issues

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Posted by tutormom on 20 June 2008

I find this interesting because my daughter cut baby teeth a little earlier than average at 3 months. She lost her first teeth just days after she turned 4. By 8 she had 13 yr molars. She was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at ten and a half after a year of hypoglycemia. At 12 she had to have impacted wisdom teeth removed. They were fully formed and causing big problems with her other teeth. The oral surgeon said she had the mouth of an adult. None of my three sons needed wisdom teeth out until 17 or 18 years old.

I wonder if watching tooth development could be a predictor of juvenile diabetes. I never suspected there was any relationship. I know neither our adult or our pediatric dentist ever mentioned it.

Posted by Anonymous on 3 July 2008

My son is a type 1 diabetic and also lost his 4 front baby teeth at 4 years old and all 4 of his permanent teeth are in at age 5. They are very crowded and the dentist said we should be aware that his gums are paying the price. We'll need to brush his gums much better and the dentist will monitor him every 3 months instead of 6. Not to mention he has 4 cavities with sealants and I'm guessing it's because of all the glucose tablets we have to give him for lows at night (even though he drinks lots of water to wash them down).

Posted by Anonymous on 26 August 2008

My son is going to be 4 years in october. He has lost 2 front upper teeth already. The 2 front bottom teeth are already shaking. Is this normal, please? Although, he started teething at age 3 months

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