Chronic periodontitis, which affects about half of all Americans over 55, is two to four times more likely to be developed by people with diabetes.
That conclusion was made by the Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine, which conducted a study on whether or not treatment of chronic periodontitis will help treat diabetes.
The American Diabetes Association states that Type 2 diabetes is the fifth leading cause of death in the United States.
The point of the study is to convince people who suffer from chronic periodontitis to treat their periodontal infection. This can improve glycemic control and, more importantly, will reduce their chances of developing diabetes.
The School of Dental Medicine and the School of Medicine at Stony Brook will receive a total of nearly $14 million to conduct studies like this one. To participate in the next trial, people must be at least 35 and have Type 2 diabetes and gum disease.
The participants will receive a full dental cleaning, six to eight dental visits over six months, diabetic counseling, and compensation for time and travel.
The treatment for these people will include scaling and root planing to remove plaque and bacteria from the teeth.
If this study goes as planned, people with diabetes will have other precautions they must take to remain healthy.
In 2000, the Surgeon General’s Report on Oral Health stated that there should be more research done on the relationship involving periodontal health and glycemic control. Now that research will finally be done.