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Effect of Diabetes Mellitus, Age, and Underlying Health Issues to the Prevalence of Dental Caries Among Dental Patients in Florida

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Samantha Anne Rivera

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Faculty Advisor: Dr. Jeffrey Pincus

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Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic, metabolic disease that occurs when there are high levels of blood sugar in the body, a phenomenon also referred to as hyperglycemia. An enormous amount of research has found strong associations between diabetes and various diseases in the body, however there is a lack of consensus linking diabetes with dental caries or dental decay. This thesis aims to establish a relationship between the prevalence of dental caries and diabetes with hopes of finding associations such that the prevention of dental caries can be optimized in diabetic patients. A retrospective study in a clinical setting was conducted from the patient pool of one center in Florida. The dental practitioner provided verbal permission to access the charts of 207 dental patients. Data was recorded in JMP 13 Analytical Data Statistics Software. The statistical analysis was set at a 0.05 significance level. According to the analysis, the mean DMFT Index was higher in diabetic patients than that in non-diabetic patients. However, there was not a significant correlation between diabetes and the occurrence of dental caries. Other indirect factors that could be potentially linked to the prevalence of dental decay are poor oral hygiene, poor compliance with continuous oral and dental treatment, unbalanced diet (i.e. consisting of too many carbohydrates), lack of exercise and irregular medication intake. An improvement in one or more of these factors can potentially help maintain the level of blood sugar in the body and thus, decrease the prevalence of dental decay.

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Effect of Diabetes Mellitus, Age, and Underlying Health Issues to the Prevalence of Dental Caries Among Dental Patients in Florida

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a chronic, metabolic disease that occurs when there are high levels of blood sugar in the body, a phenomenon also referred to as hyperglycemia. An enormous amount of research has found strong associations between diabetes and various diseases in the body, however there is a lack of consensus linking diabetes with dental caries or dental decay. This thesis aims to establish a relationship between the prevalence of dental caries and diabetes with hopes of finding associations such that the prevention of dental caries can be optimized in diabetic patients. A retrospective study in a clinical setting was conducted from the patient pool of one center in Florida. The dental practitioner provided verbal permission to access the charts of 207 dental patients. Data was recorded in JMP 13 Analytical Data Statistics Software. The statistical analysis was set at a 0.05 significance level. According to the analysis, the mean DMFT Index was higher in diabetic patients than that in non-diabetic patients. However, there was not a significant correlation between diabetes and the occurrence of dental caries. Other indirect factors that could be potentially linked to the prevalence of dental decay are poor oral hygiene, poor compliance with continuous oral and dental treatment, unbalanced diet (i.e. consisting of too many carbohydrates), lack of exercise and irregular medication intake. An improvement in one or more of these factors can potentially help maintain the level of blood sugar in the body and thus, decrease the prevalence of dental decay.

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