Gum Disease Treatment Lowers Health Care Costs

Posted on Jul 30, 2014 by William J. Claiborne, DDS MS

A study recently released by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine shared some important findings. A study of health and dental insurance records of nearly 339,000 adults revealed that periodontal (gum) treatment improved the health of those with chronic diseases. These include people with heart disease, diabetes and premature births, among others. Those who had at least one periodontal treatment were shown to have lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations than those who did not receive treatment.

A dramatic savings of 74% was seen among pregnant women. Adults with cardiovascular disease and diabetes had 20 – 40% lower health-care costs after periodontal treatment.

Internal inflammation is the link between gum disease and chronic health conditions. Although inflammation is the body’s response to infection, an excess tends to worsen heart disease, diabetes, and other chronic conditions. Eliminating gum infection seems to lighten the load to the extent that it benefits the body overall.

Gum disease begins with a sticky film that forms on teeth, known as plaque. Left untreated, gingivitis begins, which can turn into full-blown periodontal disease. In this, gums bleed easily, pull away from the teeth and are a dark red in color. Pus pockets form around some teeth as the infection persists. Eventually, tooth loss occurs.

The good news is gum disease is easy to prevent. Floss daily and brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time. Be committed to your 6-month check-ups and cleanings so any plaque build-up can be removed.

With your smile bright and healthy, you’ll enhance the health of your entire body and save much!

Recent Posts