Periodontist Discusses How Dentists Can Spot Diabetes

Dr. Alex Farnoosh, a top Beverly Hills periodiontist, explains a revolutionary technique to help diagnose diabetes during a routine dental exam. The new approach may make it possible for dentists to help diagnose the disease early.

Beverly Hills, California (January 2012) – According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), diabetes currently affects 25.8 million Americans each year. The startling factor is that many of those cases may go undiagnosed. Beverly Hills periodontist Dr. Alex Farnoosh hopes to do his part to help combat the disease.

Early detection of diabetes is key in combating and treating the condition, and health professionals in every field are making great strides in raising awareness. Supported in large part by a grant from Colgate-Palmolive, researchers at Columbia University’s College of Dental Medicine conducted a study to create and analyze a method to diagnose pre-diabetes and diabetes by a dentist during routine dental exams. While the importance of regular dental checkups is widely known for ensuring oral health, these routine visits could become essential for overall wellness.

Periodontal disease is dangerous enough by itself, but it can also be an early sign of diabetes in people who have no idea they have it. This study is revolutionary in establishing early detection protocols to better serve my patients,” Dr. Farnoosh says.

The study gathered 600 participants who had never been diagnosed with pre-diabetes or diabetes. Participants identified at least one additional diabetes risk factor, such as diabetes in the family history, high cholesterol levels or obesity.

After testing several different tools for identification, researchers established an algorithm comprised of two main dental indicators: number of teeth missing and the “percentage of deep periodontal pockets.” These factors combined, with a hemoglobin Alc test during the exam, were successful in identifying patients with pre-diabetes or diabetes. To test against this method, patients were also given a plasma glucose test, which is the standard method used by doctors to detect the disease.

“As a dental professional completely committed to my patients’ health, I look forward to performing this early detection during exams,” Dr. Farnoosh says. “Not only can I help to protect against more serious oral problems, but this study highlights an additional service I can give to protect my patients from more serious health complications.”

As obesity numbers rise in America, diabetes numbers grow exponentially. It is essential to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle to keep diabetes from developing. While many individuals may think that regular brushing and flossing is enough, visiting your dentist regularly is also important because oral problems can be signs of other problems.

Dr. Alex Farnoosh recommends seeing a dental professional often, especially if a person begins to encounter any sort of discomfort, such as gum and tooth pain or gum sensitivity.

“We cannot ignore even the smallest sign of discomfort,” Dr. Farnoosh says. “Though it may turn out to be a small issue, one should never dismiss a problem that may be an early indicator of a more serious condition.”

Find out how Dr. Farnoosh provides excellent gum treatment as part of his patients’ smile makeovers when you schedule an appointment online or call (310) 657-0503 to set up a consultation.

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