Periodontal maintenance of teeth and gums reduces diabetes mellitus medical costs

Uncontrolled levels of sugar in the body affect the body... from the feet to the head to the teeth and gums, which makes it all the more important for every diabetic patient to see a dentist regularly.

Recently, the American Association for Dental Research presented a study on this topic, which found a reduction in healthcare costs (hospitalisations) in diabetic patients with controlled periodontal disease.

In the study, the medical costs of two groups of diabetic patients were compared over a three-year period; the first group of diabetic patients with periodontal disease received shock treatment and subsequent maintenance. The second group of periodontal patients received the shock treatment but did not undergo maintenance during the study period.

Controlling periodontal disease is of great importance in diabetic patients.
Controlling periodontal disease is of great importance in diabetic patients.

At the end of this period, those who had received periodontal maintenance reduced their medical expenditures by 33% and specialist visits by 13% compared to the control group, with a 25% reduction in the resources spent by both groups on diabetes treatment.

Therefore, the researchers conclude by recalling that one third of patients with diabetes have advanced periodontal disease, which means that the bone that 'holds' the teeth is lost.

Diabetics over the age of 45 who are not controlled are three times more likely to have severe periodontitis than people their age who do not have diabetes. In the case of smoking patients with poorly controlled diabetes, the scenario is even worse: they are five times more likely to have severe gum problems than non-diabetics.

Therefore, in order to initiate a periodontal maintenance programmeis recommended:

- keeping blood sugar levels in the recommended ranges

- using dental floss and/or interproximal brushes

- brushing teeth after every meal

- visit the dentist at least twice a year for a dental cleaning and gum check-up.

- smoking cessation, if any.