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Study Explores Effect of Periodontal Treatment on Type 2 Diabetes


As the prevalence of type 2 diabetes increases among all U.S. ethnic groups, clinicians are treating related complications, including heart disease, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and high blood pressure. One complication of particular interest to oral health professionals is the potential link between diabetes and periodontal disease. In an effort to better understand the effect of periodontal treatment on diabetes, researchers evaluated 126,805 participants with periodontal disease and type 2 diabetes. As reported in the Journal of Dental Research, the researchers recorded hemoglobin A1c levels in order to determine the potential effects of periodontal treatment on diabetes management.

The prospective cohort study, “Effect of Long-Term Periodontal Care on Hemoglobin A1c in Type 2 Diabetes,” focused on patients receiving care at Veterans Administration facilities. The average patient was a 64-year-old white male. Patients were measured at baseline and again at follow up for both periodontal disease status and hemoglobin A1c levels. The results showed that treatment at follow up increased the likelihood of individuals achieving diabetes control by 5% and 3%, respectively, at the hemoglobin <7% and <9% thresholds. Reduction of hemoglobin A1c levels was greatest among subjects with higher baseline numbers. Analysis of the data led the team to conclude that treatment of periodontitis improves long-term glycemic control among patients with type 2 diabetes.

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