The connections between periodontal disease and health have been widely documented and I have patients who come in concerned about their risk of cardiac problems due to a diagnosis of periodontal disease.
We know that there is a two-way relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes. When diabetes in uncontrolled the risk of periodontal disease goes up. For years we have believed that in patients who have untreated periodontitis it is more difficult to control their blood sugar. We can now show a link between initial periodontal therapy and diabetes control. A recent study has shown that scaling and root planning can have a positive impact on type II diabetes, by lowering glycosylated hemoglobin levels.
The study looked at patients with moderate to severe periodontitis, and compared their blood levels of glycosylated hemoglobin. Half the group received scaling and root planning as part of their therapy. The study showed a significant decrease in these blood levels in the group that had scaling and root planning, over the other group. So now when discussing scaling and root planing we can add to the benefits that periodontal therapy can help glycemic control in our patients with Type II diabetes, as well as being a primary component of their oral health.
Koromantzos, P., Makrilakis, K., Dereka, X., Katsilambros, N., Vrotsos, I., Madianos, P.: A Randomized, Controlled Trial on the Effect of Non-Surgical Periodontal Therapy in Patients with Type 2 Diabetes. Part I: Effect on Periodontal Status and Glycaemic Control. J Clin Perio 38: 142-147, 2011.