Simple Steps To Better Dental Health
space placeholder
Featuring consumer information from Columbia School of Dental & Oral Surgery
Oral Health Made Simple: Your Prescription For Knowledge
Small BoxAll About Cavities
Small BoxBrushing and Flossing
Small BoxFluoride
Small BoxMouth-Healthy Eating
Small BoxSealants
Small BoxTaking Care of Your Teeth
Small BoxTobacco
Small BoxYour Dental Visit
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxBad Breath
Small BoxCavities
Small BoxCold Sores
Small BoxDry Mouth
Small BoxImpacted Tooth
Small BoxSensitive Teeth
Small BoxTMJ
Small BoxTooth Discoloration
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxCrowns
Small BoxDentures
Small BoxFillings: The Basics
Small BoxGum Surgery
Small BoxImplants
Small BoxRoot Canal Treatment
Small BoxScaling and Root Planing
Small BoxWhitening
Small BoxMORE
Small BoxControlling Pain
Small BoxCosmetic Dentistry
Small BoxEmergencies
Small BoxFill, Repair, Replace
Small BoxKids And Teens
Small BoxOral Health and Your Body
Small BoxOrthodontics
Small BoxPeriodontics
Small BoxSeniors
Small BoxMORE
Step 1 Prevent ProblemsSimplestepsPrevent Problems
Step 2 Understand ConditionsSimplestepsUnderstand Conditions
Step 3 Explore TreatmentsSimplestepsExplore Treatments

go to Interactive Tools go to Parents' Guide go to Dental Drugs go to Ask The Dentist

graphic for Dental News showing newspaper

Periodontal Treatment May Not Help To Control Blood Sugar
December 18, 2013

By Nancy Volkers
InteliHealth News Service

INTELIHEALTH - Standard treatment for gum disease does not improve blood-sugar control in people with fairly well controlled diabetes, a study concludes.

The study included 514 adults with type 2 diabetes. All of them also had moderate to severe gum disease.

People were randomly assigned to one of two groups. Over a six-month period, one group got two sessions of scaling and root planing. This is a "deep cleaning" of the teeth used to treat gum disease. This group also received an oral rinse at the start of the study. The second group received no treatment or rinse.

There were no differences between the groups that related to diabetes control or the seriousness of their gum disease. They also were similar in other ways, including general health, other medical conditions, race, age and smoking history.

After six months, there were no improvements in blood-sugar control in the treatment group. This group did not have lower fasting blood-sugar measurements. It also did not have lower levels of hemoglobin A1C. This is a blood protein used to measure blood-sugar control.

The treatments did improve gum disease symptoms. After six months, the treatment group had smaller gaps between gums and teeth, and less bleeding of the gums.

This is the largest known randomized study to look at the effects of gum-disease treatment on blood-sugar control. A randomized study blindly assigns people to different treatments or to no treatment.

At the start of the study, the average A1C level in the groups was about 7.8%. According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), doctors should consider changing, adding or adjusting treatment in people with diabetes who have A1C levels above 8.0%. The ADA suggests a goal A1C of 7.0%.

Previous studies have suggested that treating gum (periodontal) disease helps to control blood sugar in people with diabetes. A review of published research showed that gum disease treatment led to a decrease in A1C. In that study, however, the average A1C was higher: about 8.75%.

The study appears in the December 18 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version     
printer friendly format option iconPrinter-friendly version
Powered by Aetna Dental Plans

© 2002-2016 Aetna, Inc. All rights reserved. All information is intended for your general knowledge only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues and consult your physician before starting a new fitness regimen. Use of this online service is subject to the disclaimer and the terms and conditions. External website links provided on this site are meant for convenience and for informational purposes only; they do not constitute an endorsement. These external links open in a different window.