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03-02-2010 | Diabetes | Article

Benefits of periodontal treatment for Type 2 diabetics confirmed


Free abstract

MedWire News: Results from a systematic review and meta-analysis confirm previous results showing that treatment of periodontitis results in improved glycemic control for Type 2 diabetes patients.

“Diabetes and periodontal disease are two chronic diseases that have long been considered to be biologically linked,” say Wijnand Teeuw (University of Amsterdam and VU University, The Netherlands) and colleagues.

In addition, previous studies have shown improvements in glycemic control and the lipid profile for Type 2 diabetics following treatment for periodontitis, as reported by MedWire News.

To evaluate further whether treatment for periodontitis leads to improvements in glycemic control for individuals with Type 2 diabetes, the team carried out a systematic review and meta-analysis of five studies involving a total of 371 patients aged between 53 and 67 years. Duration of follow-up was 3–9 months.

Baseline glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ranged from 7.2% to 10.2%. The researchers found that HbA1c improved in all individuals who underwent treatment for periodontitis compared with controls, decreasing by an average of 0.40% from baseline, a statistically significant reduction.

However, the researchers caution that this reduction is of “limited robustness” due to heterogeneity between the studies.

This study “provides the most accurate reflection of available literature to date to answer the question of whether periodontal treatment affects the general health of Type 2 diabetic patients by improving glycemic control compared to no periodontal treatment after at least 3-month follow-up,” write the authors.

However, Teeuw et al say that more evidence is needed to back up these findings and suggest that larger randomized controlled trials of longer duration should be carried out in future.

The results of this study are published in the journal Diabetes Care.

MedWire ( is an independent clinical news service provided by Current Medicine Group, a trading division of Springer Healthcare Limited. © Springer Healthcare Ltd; 2010

By Helen Albert