Gap Analysis of Older Adults With Type 2 Diabetes Receiving Nonsurgical Periodontal Therapy

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ObjectiveTwenty percent of the elderly US population is diagnosed with diabetes. The elderly are at a higher risk of developing serious complications from diabetes. Regular professional dental care may help control blood glucose levels and thereby diabetes complications. Since such potential benefits could play a clinically significant role in diabetes management, our aim was to identify and review relevant evidence among the older population.Materials and MethodsElectronic databases were searched for periodontal intervention studies using modified search terms from previous systematic reviews. The final search date was October 31, 2016.ResultsTwenty-five publications (22 studies) were included in our final review. They varied in study design, duration, therapeutic interventions, and systemic outcomes measured. No study restricted its participants to seniors, and therefore, a mean age of 55 years or more was used. Fourteen studies showed significant reductions in serum glycated hemoglobin levels, but 8 studies showed nonsignificant changes.ConclusionThe evidence suggests a beneficial effect of receiving periodontal care on serum glycated hemoglobin and systemic biomarker levels in older persons with T2DM. Such care would be considered a novel, safe, and acceptable adjunct to current medical management of T2DM in older individuals. The dearth of studies restricted to the elderly represents a gap in knowledge that needs to be addressed in the United States.

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