Periodontal Treatment Improves Glycemic Control in Diabetics

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Multiple studies have established connections between periodontitis and diabetes, indicating a cyclical relationship where one condition exacerbates the other. A recent review of multiple studies, however, also shows that periodontal treatment can provide short-term improvements in glycemic control.

The researchers looked at 10 randomized controlled trials involving 1,135 adults older than 18 years of age with diabetes and periodontal disease undergoing nonsurgical periodontal treatment with or without adjunctive antibiotics. Examined outcomes included hemoglobin A1c (HbA1c) totals, probing pocket depth (PPD), and clinical attachment level (CAL).

Analysis revealed a –0.36% mean change of HbA1c at 3 months and a –0.30% change at 6 months. Clinically substantial and statistically significant reductions in PPD and CAL also were found between subjects with and without treatment after periodontal therapy.

While the researchers concluded that periodontal treatment can reduce HbA1c while improving periodontal status 3 months after treatment, they did not see an obvious effect on glycemic control 6 months after treatment. They caution that physicians and dentists should carefully interpret these results when applying them in clinical practice.

The study, “Review Finds Periodontal Treatment Has Short Term Benefits for Diabetics,” was published by Evidence-Based Dentistry.

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