How a Healthy Mouth Can Save You Thousands on Healthcare Costs

Periodontal therapy drastically reduces healthcare costs for people with chronic medical conditions and pregnancy, according to a new study by researchers with United Concordia.

The study comes two years after UC Wellness released data citing thousands of dollars in healthcare cost savings in individuals who receive periodontal treatment:

“[This study] found that participants who had periodontal therapy saved an average of $1,814 from reduced hospital and office visits. The savings nearly doubled for patients with diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis patients saved a staggering total of $3,964.”

This new study, headed by researcher Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, examined insurance claims data from 2005-2009 in an effort to further determine the relationship between periodontal therapy and reduced healthcare costs.

They found significant reductions in healthcare costs and number of in-patient hospital admissions for patients with Type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular disease, coronary artery disease, and pregnancy. Healthcare costs were reduced by more than 40% for patients with diabetes and cerebral vascular disease, while costs for coronary artery disease were reduced by 10%. Meanwhile, medical costs in pregnant women were reduced by over 70%. Researchers noted that “results for hospital admissions were comparable.”

The infographic below, re-posted from United Concordia’s website, provides a graphic representation of the results:UC Wellness Data

The results of this follow-up study confirm what a mountain of research has been telling us for years: it is imperative that people with chronic conditions and/or pregnancy maintain good oral health. It is well documented that conditions like cardiovascular disease and diabetes are affected and often exacerbated by oral pathogens and oral inflammation; it makes sense that reducing the inflammatory burden of individuals with these conditions would also reduce their costs and complications.


Periodontal Therapy Improves Outcomes in Systemic Conditions: Insurance Claims Evidence
United Concordia Oral Health Study: The Results