A new study has revealed that dental visits may be an opportune site for diabetes screening and monitoring glucose control for many at-risk patients.
Researchers tested blood samples of 408 dental patients and confirmed that using gingival crevicular blood (GCB) for hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) testing produced values that were nearly identical to those obtained using finger stick blood (FSB), with a correlation of 0.991 between the two blood samples.
Study's principal investigator, Dr. Shiela Strauss, said, "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. Our study has considerable public health significance because we identify the value and importance of capitalizing on an opportunity at the dental visit (a) to screen at-risk, but as yet undiagnosed patients for diabetes (especially those 45 years or older) and (b) to monitor glycemic control in those already diagnosed so as to enable them to maintain their health to the greatest extent possible."
The new study is published in the 'American Journal of Public Health'.