Gum disease linked to chronic health problems

Researchers have found that treating gum disease (periodontal disease) may reduce heart disease, diabetes and other conditions.

The study involved health and dental insurance records from 338,891 people with one of five conditions. The conditions included type 2 diabetes, heart disease, cerebrovascular disease (disease of the blood vessels supplying the brain), rheumatoid arthritis and pregnancy.

Researchers found that within four years, the people who had gum disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalisations compared with people who weren’t treated. For example, people with cardiovascular disease and diabetes who had the gum disease treatment had health-care costs that were between 20% and 40% lower.

The link between gum disease and chronic health conditions is inflammation. The build-up of inflammatory substances in the blood can worsen chronic health conditions.

The results of the study provide new evidence that the noninvasive therapy may improve health outcomes for chronic conditions.

Read more at American Journal of Preventative Medicine