Effect of Periodontal Treatment on Type 2 Diabetes
The prevalence of type 2 diabetes continues to increase among all ethnic groups in the United States, and it exerts significant complications such as heart disease and stroke, blindness, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and amputation. One lesser-explored complication is the link between diabetes and periodontal disease. In an effort to better understand the effect of periodontal treatment on diabetes—and the potential ability of such treatment to help control individuals’ hemoglobin A1c levels—researchers evaluated 126,805 participants with both type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease. The effects of periodontal treatment on diabetes management, as noted by hemoglobin A1c levels, were recorded. The Journal of Dental Research published the results in the article, “Effect of Long-Term Periodontal Care on Hemoglobin A1c in Type 2 Diabetes,” online in December.
This prospective cohort study focused on patients receiving care at Veterans Administration medical centers in the US. The average patient was a 64-year-old white man. Patients were measured at baseline and follow-up for both periodontal disease status and hemoglobin A1c levels. Results showed that treatment at follow-up increased the likelihood of individuals achieving diabetes control by 5% and 3% at the hemoglobin <7% and <9% thresholds. Reduction of hemoglobin A1c levels was greatest among those with higher baseline numbers. Analysis of the data led researchers to conclude that treatment of periodontitis improves long-term glycemic control among those with type 2 diabetes.
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