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Diabetics on Oral Medications Heal Normally After Tooth Extraction
March 6, 2013

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Healing after a tooth extraction is not slower in people with type 2 diabetes who take pills to control their blood sugar, a study has found.

The Australian study included 456 people. Of these, 224 were adults with type 2 diabetes. All were taking drugs to control their blood sugar levels. The other 232 were people without diabetes.

Everyone in the study needed a tooth pulled.

In 28 people, the healing of the tooth socket had delayed healing (beyond 1 week). Delayed healing was not more common in people with diabetes than in those who did not have diabetes.

Research has shown that people with diabetes have slower wound healing. This is particularly true in people with poor blood-sugar control. Blood glucose levels in this study ranged from 73.8 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) to 309.6 mg/dl. The average was 135.2 mg/dl. The American Diabetes Association states that in people with diabetes, blood-sugar levels should be between 70 and 130 mg/dl before meals, and less than 180 mg/dl after meals.

The group of people with diabetes was older and less likely to smoke than those in the non-diabetes group. There were also more men in the diabetes group.

A 2010 study found that blood-sugar levels were not linked with healing after tooth extraction in people with diabetes. That study included 115 people with diabetes. They were followed for 2 weeks after having a tooth pulled.

The Australian study appears in the March issue of the Australian Dental Journal.

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