Early treatment for diabetics with gum disease urged

  • Charity calls for special treatment for diabetes patients
  • Diabetic patients are at higher risk of gum problems

Investment in the dental health of diabetic patients could save the NHS a fortune, new research has found.

The study identified what was said to be “a statistically significant association” between how looking after your gums resulted in reduced costs for healthcare for those newly diagnosed.

The Oral Health Foundation believes if the NHS were to adopt a strategy of prioritising oral health of those with diabetes, not only would it save them millions of pounds, but also improve life quality for patients.

Reported on the dentalhealth.org website, Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation said that with 3.5 million people with diabetes in the UK, there is severe pressure on the NHS to act with urgency. Dr Carter added:

“The link between oral health and serious systemic diseases has become increasingly obvious over recent years and one of the clearest relationships which we have seen is with diabetes.

“Over the next decade Type-2 diabetes is estimated to increase significantly to five million sufferers, placing an increased pressure upon NHS resources and finances at a time when it is really struggling in both of these areas.

“By providing effective treatment for diabetics with gum disease at an early stage we believe there are potentially considerable cost savings to be had for the health services.

“Giving patients the information and treatment they need to look after their gums it can help to preserve the oral health of million in the UK while also saving NHS coffers.”

diabetics with gum disease

Early treatment for diabetics with gum disease urged

Early treatment of diabetics with gum disease could save £1500 over two years

As practitioners, we often feel we are banging the same drum on the importance of healthy gums, but here again, is another pointer to the importance of good oral health.

Data from more than 15,000 adults ages 18-64 who were newly diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes found that those who had gum disease treated at an early stage had an average saving of almost £1,500 in healthcare costs over two years.

Gum disease is a silent and invasive problem that wrecks the tissues supporting our teeth. Untreated it can erode the bone that anchors our teeth. Eventually, teeth fall out.

Telltale signs are bleeding after brushing or eating, a bad taste in your mouth and offensive breath.

We are aware that diabetic patients are at a higher risk of gum problems which in turn can increase sugar levels and raise the odds on diabetic complications.

If you have diabetes, it’s essential that you make sure that you inform your dentist.

As reported on the website, early oral health intervention for diabetic patients is “a win-win for health services and patients alike.”

sugar free gum

The NHS could save £8.2 million a year on dental treatments if all 12-year-olds chewed sugar-free gum after a meal

Chewing sugar-free gum could save NHS millions

In February a study involving researchers from Plymouth University Peninsula Schools of Medicine and Dentistry found that the NHS could save £8.2 million a year on dental treatments – the equivalent to 364,000 dental check-ups – if all 12-year-olds across the UK chewed sugar-free gum after eating or drinking.

The latest Government figures show that young people in the UK experience unacceptably high levels of tooth decay and that it can have a real impact on their self-esteem as well as their health.

Some 35 per cent of 12-year-olds reported being embarrassed to smile or laugh due to the condition of their teeth.

More than 1 million UK patients a week use NHS dental services – many of them seeking treatment for dental disease. Cost: £3.4 billion a year.