Open Wide! Blood from Dental Procedures Could Be Used to Predict Diabetes

| Mar 26, 2011

A New York University research team has won a pilot grant to see if blood from dental procedures could be used in conjunction with the A1C test to detect diabetes or pre-diabetes. The A1C test, which is becoming healthcare providers' preferred test for detecting the disease, typically uses blood extracted from finger pricks to make its analysis. The NYU team will see if the blood that flows from gum tissue during dental work can be used for the same purpose.

One motive for the study is to follow up on earlier findings that 90 percent of people who had periodontal disease either were at higher risk of developing diabetes or had already acquired undiagnosed diabetes.

The team will work with 120 patients from the periodontal treatment program at NYU's College of Dentistry. The patients will provide finger-prick blood samples, and oral blood samples will be gathered by dental practitioners. The blood samples will be compared to see if both types offer similar readings. If so, using the A1C at dentists' offices could become a routine way to conveniently screen people for diabetes.

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Categories: A1c Test, Diabetes, Diabetes, Diabetes Prevention, Health Care, Research

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Posted by Anonymous on 29 March 2011

Who pays? AiC tests are more expensive than a random finger stick BG. I don't know the going rates, but at one diabetes gathering the charge was $20. I doubt the patient wants to add this to the dental appointment bill, especially those paying out of pocket for dental care. Wouldn't a random BG be more cost-effective?

Posted by Anonymous on 30 March 2011

What a waste of money. I would prefer finger pricks than obtaining blood from a dental procedure.

Posted by chanson3633 on 30 March 2011

I frankly don't see the advantage of getting blood samples from the gums rather than the finger-prick. Is it that the making people's gums bleed is less painful than finger pricks? Is it that they have already made the gums bleed - why waste the blood? I also don't understand the 90% figure. It sounds like the vast majority of people with periodontal disease are diabetics or soon will be.

Posted by sweet one on 30 March 2011

Interesting. Way past time for the U.S to integrate vision and dental care into our medical care. My eye care specialist diagnosed me as diabetic over 20 years ago and I am grateful he was so good! However, are the dentists willing and able to take on the responsibility of notifying patients of the results and referring them if this works?

Posted by Anonymous on 31 March 2011

The A1C test is gotton from blood drawn by a tecnician & sent to the lab. It is not gotten from a fingerstick.

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