Regular dental care can save health dollars spend on stroke treatment, diabetes, and premature births by promoting overall health.
Scientists at the 87th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research present findings that periodontal disease is linked to systemic disease. Regular dental visits can reduce health care spending significantly by reducing systemic inflammation that leads to heart disease, promotes and worsens diabetes, and may contribute to premature births and stroke.
Dental researchers say that observational studies show treating severe periodontal disease during pregnancy reduces the risk of premature births. Treating mild periodontal disease during pregnancy does not seem to have the same effect on preventing premature birth, suggesting the need for further studies.
The scientists calculated health care savings of nearly $14 million by treating over 1600 pregnant women with all levels of severity of periodontal disease.
Taking things further, the dental researchers calculated health care savings for those with history of stroke at $10,142 per year, and $1,418 annually for each patient with diabetes.
The message from the International Association for Dental Research is twofold – healthy gums and teeth can reduce systemic inflammation, leading to better overall health. The scientists suggest that keeping your teeth and gums healthy can significantly reduce health spending for treatment of stroke, diabetes, and premature births.