Treating the dental health of diabetic patients could save more money.
New research looked into how looking after gum health could help to reduce healthcare costs amongst people newly diagnosed with diabetes. Therefore, saving the NHS money in the long term.
The study took newly diagnosed patients with type-2 diabetes, and had a look at them. The 15,000 patients who had their gum disease treated at an early stage had roughly saved £1,500 in healthcare costs over a two-year period.
Dr Nigel Carter OBE, CEO of the Oral Health Foundation, said:
“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 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.”
The British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (The BSDHT) has stated that diabetic patients need to be aware of the signs of gum disease as catching it early can prevent serious complications. Most adults in the UK have gum disease to some degree and most people experience it at least once. It’s much less common in children. If you suffer from it you may experience bleeding gums and bad breath, the early stage is known as gingivitis. If it is not treated you may develop periodontitis and this is what is concerning The BSDHT. It can affect the supporting tissues and the bone anchoring the teeth in the jaw making teeth loose and potentially falling out if left untreated.
President of the British Society of Dental Hygiene and Therapy (BSDHT), Michaela O’Neill, said:
“It then becomes a vicious circle, as gum disease can increase blood sugar, which can lead to an increased risk of diabetic complications.”
‘Early oral health intervention for diabetic patients is a win-win for health services and patients alike.”