Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus and the Prevalence of Apical Periodontitis and Endodontic Treatment in an Adult Brazilian Population

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This cross-sectional study evaluated the prevalence of apical periodontitis (AP) and endodontic treatment in type 2 diabetic individuals as compared with nondiabetics from an adult Brazilian population.


Full-mouth radiographs from 30 type 2 diabetic and 60 age- and sex-matched nondiabetic individuals were examined, and the presence of AP lesions in untreated and root canal-treated teeth was recorded. The number of teeth and the prevalence of root canal treatment were also evaluated.


AP was significantly more present in teeth from diabetic individuals (98/652, 15%) than in nondiabetic controls (162/1,368, 12%) (P = .05). A separate analysis of untreated and treated teeth revealed that significance was mostly because of the prevalence of AP in untreated teeth, which was 10% in diabetics and 7% in nondiabetics (P = .03). No significant difference between diabetics and nondiabetics was observed for the other parameters under study, including the prevalence of AP in root canal–treated teeth, the number of teeth in the oral cavity, the number of treated teeth per individual, the number of individuals with at least 1 AP lesion or 1 root canal treatment, and the number of teeth with AP per individual (P > .05).


AP was significantly more prevalent in untreated teeth from type 2 diabetics. This suggests that diabetes may serve as a disease modifier of AP in the sense that individuals with diabetes can be more prone to develop primary disease. However, findings do not confirm that diabetes may influence the response to root canal treatment because treated teeth had no increased prevalence of AP when compared with controls.

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