Periodontal disease, also known as inflammatory gum disease, is demonstrably associated with a number of systemic diseases. According to several studies, one of its effects is an increased risk of a poor glucose balance and complications associated with diabetes in patients suffering from type 2 diabetes. This connection is caused by bacteria related to the disease and the inflammation spreading from the mouth to the circulation and other parts of the body.
Now, an easy-to-use ‘chairside’ rapid test for diagnosing periodontal disease, known as aMMP-8, has been developed in Finland. The test, which has been on the market for approximately five years, is based on long-term research conducted by Professor Timo Sorsa at the University of Helsinki.
“The test is a simple immunotest that is able to measure the aMMP-8 concentration of oral fluids. MMP-8 is an enzyme whose elevated concentration indicates periodontal disease, for which an oral rinse test gives a result in five minutes,” explains Sorsa.
The University of Helsinki, Karolinska Institutet and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki have now investigated whether the aMMP-8 test could be used at the dentist’s office also to screen for diabetes and prediabetes. The test could be run for patients who fulfil certain criteria according to a questionnaire.
According to the researchers, the results of the study, published in the Diagnostics journal, confirm that the dentist’s office is ideal for screening for diabetes and that a point-of-care HbA1c test combined with the aMMP-8 rapid test is a reliable and efficient way of identifying undiagnosed diabetes and prediabetes.
“It seems that the aMMP-8 rapid test is a useful tool for screening for both periodontal disease as well as diabetes and prediabetes,” Sorsa says.
Timo Sorsa, professor
Phone: +358 40 737 4240
Reference: Diagnostics 2019, 9(4), 151; https://doi.org/10.3390/diagnostics9040151