A recently released study from New York University shows that a test for diabetes performed on blood excreted from your gums (gingival tissues) is a reliable source for showing if a patient is at risk for or has diabetes.
The reason for doing this test at a dental office was that it is more likely certain at-risk patients will visit a dental office more regularly than a physician for a physical exam.
“In light of findings from the study, the dental visit could be a useful opportunity to conduct diabetes screening among at-risk, undiagnosed patients — an important first step in identifying those who need further testing to determine their diabetes status,” said the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Shiela Strauss, associate professor of nursing and co-director of the Statistics and Data Management Core for NYU’s Colleges of Nursing and Dentistry.
The research was titled “The Potential for Glycemic Control Monitoring and Screening for Diabetes at Dental Visits Using Oral Blood,” and it was based on an earlier pilot study in which they were seeing if the cost and willingness of patients was an acceptable means of testing.
Many patients don’t want to have their finger jabbed with a needle or have blood removed into a vial from their arm. Most patients do bleed at least a little bit during a dental cleaning and that blood can be collected and used for the test without causing any trauma to the patient. Even just flossing will produce blood on patients which could be enough for the test.