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PerioFrogz: Research Summaries and Implementation Strategies
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The objective of PerioFrogz is to help dental professionals stay current with on-going research; facilitate integration of research findings into daily practice, ultimately elevating the level of patient care.
Reduction of HbA1c levels following nonsurgical treatment of periodontal disease in type 2 diabetics
Source: Med Oral Patol Oral Cir Bucal. 2010 Sep 1; 15(5): e808-12.      PerioFrogz Issue No.: 3811
Authors: Montoya-Carralero JM, Saura-Perez M, et al.

This article determined the levels of glycemic control before and after nonsurgical periodontal therapy, as measured by HbA1c values.

  • 31 patients enrolled in study, 11 males, 20 females, ages 42-81 years old
  • All subjects received detailed pre-op and 30 day post-op oral evaluations and HbA1c level determinations
  • All study participants received nonsurgical periodontal treatment and extraction of hopeless teeth
Results and Conclusions:
  • Following nonsurgical perio treatment, a decrease in HbA1c levels observed, indicating improved glycemic control
  • Improvement in glycemic control observed regardless of the duration of diabetes and treatment for it
  • Improvement in HbA1c levels after perio treatment regardless of the degree of periodontal involvement at baseline
Key take-aways:

This study demonstrated improved blood sugar control among diabetic perio patients after nonsurgical perio treatment was provided. The authors further concluded that patients starting with low HbA1c values improved to the same degree as patients starting from higher values. The post-op evaluations were performed 30 days after treatment was provided, indicating that improvement in blood sugar levels occurs in that time frame.

Implementation Strategies:

This study provides us with yet another piece of solid evidence; treating periodontal disease reduces HbA1c levels and therefore improves not only the patient’s periodontal condition but their blood sugar levels as well. Since we know that periodontal disease and diabetes is a two-way street, this study reinforces the concept that early intervention and proactive treatment of periodontal disease for these individuals is vital for the control of both of these destructive diseases. Therefore, one of the goals of non-surgical periodontal therapy should be the reduction of HbA1c levels. However, using HbA1c as a marker of successful non-surgical treatment for the diabetic patient provides another challenge, how can we easily collect that data?

It makes perfect sense, in these circumstances, to offer the patient the safety and convenience of chair side blood testing in conjunction with their dental visits. We can now collect this data by utilizing the Diabetes Risk Assessment blood testing kit available from Using a simple finger stick and placing just a few drops of blood on the blotter provided, allows us to determine the patients’ fasting blood sugar in 3 minutes. The blotter is then mailed to the lab for the A1c determination. The confidential results arrive in a lab report by mail in a few days. A copy of the report will go to the patient and to the dental office. Blood testing is the only way to determine before and after HbA1c levels, and the cost to the dental office for the kit is very reasonable at only $19.99. Visit Healthy Heart Dentistry by clicking the ad on the PerioFrogz home page and save 5% by using the promo code ‘frogz’ when you order. Your diabetic patients will thank you for the convenience of a finger nick rather than the traditional blood draw they must have done quarterly. Jump and try something new! (Be sure to read the white paper, Implementing Chair-Side Blood Testing for more implementation suggestions.)

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