Healthy Gums and Diabetes: Study Seems to Show a Beneficial Connection
Healthcare providers and most people with diabetes are aware that there is a connection between gum health and complications from diabetes. Unhealthy gums are thought to be both a result of the disease and a gateway to infections and complications to which diabetes opens the door.
Now a study from the University of Pennsylvania School of Dental Medicine in Philadelphia has come up with figures that seem to confirm the connection between healthy gums and fewer diabetic complications. The three-year study of diabetic patients who had periodontal disease showed that the ones who received treatment for their gums had 33 percent fewer hospital admissions and $1,800 lower doctor and hospital costs than control group members who received no treatment for their gums.
The study's lead researcher, Marjorie Jeffcoat, a professor at and dean emeritus of the school, said the study is one more step in the emerging link between oral infections and diseases like diabetes and cardiovascular problems.
Jeffcoat said that while the study shows an association between healthy gums and fewer hospitalizations and medical costs for people with diabetes, it did not establish a direct causal link.
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