Background Sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are dietary sources of sugar that are factors in caries development and tooth loss. Dietary sugar also is linked to diabetes mellitus (DM). There is limited research related to SSBs and tooth loss in people with DM. The authors investigated the association between SSBs and tooth loss as it related to the presence or absence of DM. Methods The authors used a cross-sectional design with data reported by adults (18 years and older) who responded to the 2012 Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System questionnaire, which was used in 18 states (N = 95,897; 14,043 who had DM and 81,854 who did not have DM). The authors conducted χ2 and logistic regression analyses to determine associations related to DM status. Results Overall, 12.3% of the survey respondents had DM, 15.5% had 6 or more teeth extracted, and 22.6% reported that they consumed 1 or more SSB daily. In the adjusted analyses, among adults who had DM, those who consumed at least 2 SSBs daily were more likely to have had 6 or more teeth extracted than those who reported that they did not consume SSBs (adjusted odds ratio, 2.35; 95% confidence interval, 1.37 to 4.01; P =.0018). Among adults who did not have DM, those who consumed more than 1 but fewer than 2 SSBs per day were more likely to have had at least 6 teeth extracted (adjusted odds ratio, 1.46; 95% confidence interval, 1.21 to 1.77; P <.0001). Conclusions The authors found that, among adults with DM, consuming 2 or more SSBs per day was associated with having had 6 or more teeth extracted. Practical Implications Dietary sugar is a concern for oral and systemic health; however, a strong, independent relationship between the number of teeth extracted and a single source of dietary sugar is not adequate to explain the complexity of tooth loss. Clinicians should use broadly worded dietary messages when discussing caries assessment with patients.
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