Posted on 4/15/2016 by Raymond Liu
|Dentists have long been discussing the relationship between gum disease and other conditions of the body. However, what has been less well-understood is whether treating gum disease can actually have a positive effect on other health conditions.
Now, a new study has been conducted to help understand how treating gum disease can lead to other health improvements.
About the Study
The study was completed at the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine, and it analyzed claims from two different Pennsylvania insurance companies.
The purpose was to try to determine if costs were reduced over time for patients who had their periodontal disease treated. This information was intended to see if it pays financially in order to treat the disease.
Records for about 339,000 people were examined, and they needed to have been seen at least once for gum disease. They also have to have been diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis, stroke, coronary artery disease, or type 2 diabetes. Patients who were treated for gum disease were counted if they had several follow-up appointments.
The results of the study found that there were significant reductions in both hospital stays and health care costs when gum disease treatment was received. All conditions saw these reductions within a period of five years, except for the patients with rheumatoid arthritis.
On average, the non-dental healthcare costs for individuals with stroke or diabetes were 40% lower once they had their gum disease treated, while people with coronary artery disease had 11% lower costs.
About the Results
This study doesn't necessarily prove that treating gum disease could improve other conditions. In reality, it is possible that people who chose to have gum disease treated also decided to better care for themselves in general.
However, the findings are significant enough to recommend that doctors suggest their patients be checked for gum disease if they have one of these other conditions.
Please contact us today if you have any questions about gum disease.