Treating Periodontal Disease Can Reduce Other Medical Conditions
A substantial amount of evidence has pointed to the correlation between periodontal disease and systemic health consequences for patients with certain systemic conditions. One’s general health can be lowered by diseased gums and supporting bone since the inflamed tissue allows bacteria into the bloodstream through deep pockets which can compromise an otherwise healthy person.
To test these findings the University of Pennsylvania researchers conducted a retrospective study to determine if the effects of periodontal disease therapy mitigates adverse effects of five systemic conditions among patients.
The study conducted from 2005-2009 evaluated the medical and dental records of 338,891 patients who were pregnant or diagnosed with coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular disease, or rheumatoid arthritis. Patients with at least four periodontal treatments during the testing period, with a median age of 49 years (45% women and 55% men), were compared while others were left untreated.
Results showed a substantial reduction in both healthcare costs and hospital admissions in the time following periodontal treatment for those treated for periodontal disease and identified with four of the five listed systemic conditions according to the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Medical costs for those with diabetes decreased 40.2%, cerebral vascular disease 40.9%, and coronary heart disease 10.7%, yet no significant difference was detected among patients with rheumatoid arthritis. Pregnant women were by far the principal beneficiaries with their medical costs decreased by 74% compared to those left untreated for periodontal disease.
Though the findings do not prove that the treatment of periodontal disease has advantageous effects beyond the mouth; study authors concluded it would be logical for periodontal disease treatment to be regularly considered in part of the preventive armory for chronic disease management.
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