Health care professionals have been researching different practices to help their diabetic patients improve their quality of health.Â Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat of the University of Pennsylvania has just launched a new study in conjunction with theÂ United Concordia Dental and Highmark Inc. This study evaluated how the treatment of gum disease could reduce the cost of medical care for patients suffering from diabetes.Â Nearly 26 million Americans are afflicted with diabetes, so the results of this study will be highly relevant to the world’s population.
Gum Disease and Diabetic Patients
The study was conducted over the course of three years. It also involved nearly 2 million patients, making it the largest study of its kind ever conducted. The sample size and duration of the study make it highly credible and noteworthy.Â F.G. Merkel, president and COO of dental insurance company United Concordia, said that the study was extremely important to their field. He added that his firm is becoming increasingly concerned about the overall health risks presented by gum disease.
Jeffcoat concluded that treating gum disease could help patients save up to $1,800 each year. These savings were the result of both less time spent in hospitals and physicians offices.
Based on the new study Merkel claims that Concordia is going to offer a new group product that will be aimed towards patients suffering from diabetes. This product will give diabetic patients the opportunity to receive oral surgery.Â Their employers will be able to ensure diabetic patients are given additional treatment to protect their oral health. In turn, this will lower overall premiums and reduce the amount of time employees spend out of work.
Gum Disease and Medical Conditions
Jeffcoat stated that existing evidence has already shown there is a strong correlation between gum disease and many other medical conditions, including heart disease, diabetes and the risk of receiving a stroke. This study confirmed many of those findings, further illustrating the need to encourage proper oral hygiene and fight gum disease. Jeffcoat also said that this study was the first of its kind and others are expected to paint a clearer picture on the of the efforts diabetic patients will have to take to maximize their outlook.
Jeffcoat presented her team’s research to more than 2,500 colleagues at theÂ American Association for Dental Research’s annual meeting. Concordia looks forward to releasing the data, but will hold off on stating any findings until the research has been completed.