By Kate Ranta on Aug 28, 2014 @ 02:41 PM
Gum disease is known to have an effect on pregnancy, heart disease, diabetes and other chronic health conditions. The common thread is inflammation, which is the body’s natural response to an infection or injury. Inflammatory substances from gum disease that build up in the blood seem to make these chronic conditions worse.
But there is a way to curb the problem. A report in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine found that treating gum disease equals better health for people with such health conditions. How do we know that? Because treating gum disease with low cost dentistry (like deep cleanings) was shown to lower health care costs and hospitalizations.
The study examined the health and dental insurance records of several hundred thousand people. They all had gum disease along with one of the following five conditions: pregnancy, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke or rheumatoid arthritis. Those with four of the five conditions who had at least one gum disease treatment had lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations within four years of the treatment compared with people who didn’t receive treatment.
So can healthy teeth save you money? Absolutely. Among pregnant women, savings were huge: 74 percent lower. That’s because they avoided costs associated with premature births. And, those with cardiovascular disease and diabetes who had their gum disease treated with low cost dentistry lowered their health care costs by 20 percent and 40 percent, respectively.
Now if that doesn’t give you motivation to get your regular cleanings, we don’t know what will!
Treating gum disease is simple, too. Your dentist cleans the teeth above and below the gum line. That coupled with your daily brushing and flossing will keep your teeth and gums healthy and your dentistry costs low. Be on the lookout for the signs of gum disease—especially if you’re pregnant or have a history of heart disease, stroke or type 2 diabetes. Seek treatment right away to nip it in the bud—not only for your overall health, but for your wallet as well!