A New York University research team has been given a pilot grant to see if blood from dental procedures could be used in conjunction with the popular A1C test to detect diabetes or pre-diabetes (metabolic syndrome.) The A1C blood test, which is becoming healthcare providers' preferred test for detecting diabetes, typically uses blood extracted from finger pricks to make its diagnosis. The NYU team will see if the blood that flows from gum tissue during dental work can be used for the same purpose.
The Pilot Program
The team will work with one hundred and twenty patients from the periodontal treatment program at NYU's College of Dentistry. The patients will provide a traditional finger-prick blood sample, and oral blood sample 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 blood test at dentists' offices could become a routine way to conveniently screen people for diabetes. This may even lower the number of people who develop diabetes. Early prevention can really play a role in preventing diabetes for some people it may be as simple as changing their diet and exercise habits.
Earlier findings found that 90 percent of people who had periodontal disease either were at higher risk of developing diabetes or had already acquired undiagnosed diabetes.