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Children with Diabetes May Grow Adult Teeth Faster

Children aged 10 to 14 with diabetes may develop their permanent teeth earlier, which could increase their risk of dental problems.

The study looked at children aged six to 14 years old-270 with diabetes (mostly type 1) and 320 without diabetes. It was found that among children aged 10 years and up, those with diabetes were more likely to have early tooth “eruptions”.

According to the researchers, early tooth “eruptions” increase the odds of developing misaligned or “crowded” teeth, making it harder to clean the teeth and keep the gums healthy.

Dr. Shantanu Lal, lead study researcher from the Columbia University Medical Center in New York, said that it is not yet clear whether children with diabetes do have more dental problems, but that he and his colleagues are still finishing a study to answer the question. For now, researchers underscore the importance of regular dental check ups for children with diabetes.

Dr. Lal’s team suggests that the early tooth eruptions may be caused by gum inflammation which tends to be higher in children with diabetes. Gum inflammation may lessen the mass of the bones that support the teeth, therefore shortening the distance that developing teeth need to progress to break through the gums.

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