According to a new study, getting treatment for your gum disease can save nearly $900 a year in the cost of treating type 2 diabetes. This is not the only study to show these types of savings related to gum disease treatment. This reminds us that these diseases are closely linked and that the benefits of dental care go far beyond the mouth.
Newly Diagnosed Diabetes
For this study, researchers looked at the health records of more than 15,000 individuals with newly diagnosed type 2 diabetes. They then divided them up into two groups: those that got treatment for gum disease and those that didn’t. They found that those who got gum disease treatment saved an average of $1799 in total healthcare costs over the course of two years.
That’s net savings, including the cost of dental care. Interestingly, only $408 of that savings comes from reduced cost of diabetes care, meaning that a significant portion of the savings comes from other areas.
We know that diabetes has far-ranging effects on the rest of the body, and therefore additional healthcare costs may be incurred related to secondary complications such as:
- Heart disease
- Kidney disease
- Diabetic neuropathy
- Diabetic retinopathy
- Circulatory problems
We also know that gum disease can make diabetes worse, so it’s likely that treating gum disease reduces complications related to diabetes, although this study didn’t provide evidence to that effect, just that the total cost of healthcare was reduced.
Not Limited to People with Gum Disease
One of the limitations of this study is that it wasn’t restricted to people with gum disease. Because of the way health treatment is coded, they were only able to determine whether people received treatment for gum disease or not. This means that a number of people were included in the no treatment group who didn’t have have gum disease and wouldn’t benefit from periodontal treatment.
Studies that looked just at people with gum disease show even larger savings for people with type 2 diabetes, over $2800 a year.
While many people are skipping dental care to try to save money, the truth is that dental care is a great investment. Not only do you get healthier teeth and gums, but you can see your overall healthcare costs diminish significantly.
If you are looking for an Orange County dentist to help maintain your oral and overall health, please call (949) 551-5902 for an appointment at Rice Dentistry in Irvine.