Japan: A recent study in PLOS One showed that type 2 diabetes patients who developed diabetic neuropathy have a significantly reduced masticatory efficiency. Effective mastication or chewing well is necessary for successful diet therapy for diabetes. 

“To prevent the progression of diabetic complications, particularly in diabetic retinopathy patients, it is necessary to combine individualized therapies from nutritionists and dentists with consideration for the level of masticatory dysfunction,” Yuta Hamamoto, Hiroshima University, Hiroshima, Japan, and colleagues wrote in their study. 

For successful therapy, it is essential to chew well and control blood sugar levels in diabetics. In addition, long-term hyperglycemia is a risk factor for microvascular complications, that are the main cause of morbidity and mortality in these patients. Hence, it may be likely that masticatory disorder may be relevant to diabetic microvascular complications which is caused by long-term hyperglycemia.

Against the above background, the researchers team aimed to investigate whether masticatory disorders are relevant to diabetic microvascular complications in a cross-sectional study. 

The study included 172 patients with type 2 diabetes who underwent educational hospitalization in the Department of Endocrinology and Diabetic Medicine, Hiroshima University Hospital, from April 2016 to March 2020. The GLUCO SENSOR GS-Ⅱ was used to quantitatively determine the masticatory efficiency. To examine which factors were related to masticatory efficiency, multivariable linear regression models. 

Based on the study, the researchers reported the following
findings:

According to the
bivariable analysis, masticatory efficiency was significantly correlated with
duration of diabetes, number of remaining teeth, the number of moving teeth and
condition of diabetic neuropathy. · The number of remaining teeth and diabetic
neuropathy remained significantly correlated with masticatory efficiency in the
multivariable analysis.

“The findings revealed a significant association between diabetic neuropathy and masticatory dysfunction,” the authors wrote. “Understanding of the neuropathic effects of diabetes on the craniofacial disorder may be depended with an additional assessment for a mandibular kinematic and muscular activity.” 

“For diabetes patients with masticatory disorder, implementing a dietary treatment regimen may be difficult. To control hyperglycemic conditions in diabetic neuropathy patients, diet therapy considering a patient’s masticatory function by dentists and nutritionists could be helpful.”

Citation: Hamamoto Y, Ouhara K, Miyagawa T, Shintani T, Komatsu N, Kajiya M, et al. (2022) Masticatory dysfunction in patients with diabetic neuropathy: A cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE 17(6): e0269594. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0269594

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