In a recent study, people with diabetes were one third less likely to be hospitalized or visit the ER for the disease if they received regular dental care. Similar findings have also linked good dental care with lowered emergencies for cardiovascular disease and pre-term birth. This particular study was performed on a group of 537 people with similar health profiles who had diabetes who had at least two prophylactic and/periodontal treatments a year over the course of three years. This group was compared to a group of 747 people, also with similar health profiles and diabetes, who received no dental care over the course of the three years.
The findings identified that the patients who received dental care were more likely to have positive levels of hemoglobin A1c and also were more likely to have lower body mass indexes. The researchers found that there was a statistically significant difference in the amount of emergency hospitalizations that the two groups had. The group of patients receiving yearly dental care were 1/3 less likely to be admitted into the hospital or visit the emergency room for visits related to their diabetes. This is not to say that those people did not visit the hospital at all with diabetes-related issues, but they made less visits than the group that did not receive any dental care.
This study has prompted researchers to continue studying the relationship between regular dental care and diabetes. The study does not prove causation, but it certainly makes you think about the effect that regular dental care can have on the rest of your body. It makes sense to think of your body as a whole, and that caring for one part of it can have positive effects on everything else.
For more information regarding diabetes and your dental health, check out our previous blog post on the subject.
For more specific information regarding this study, read the abstract here.