Recent Blog Articles

Diseases & Conditions

Easy way to save money: Grab your toothbrush

September 24, 2014






Image: Thinkstock

Treating gum disease is associated with lower health care costs for other conditions, finds a report in the August 2014 American Journal of Preventive Medicine. Researchers analyzed the dental and health insurance records of about 340,000 people. They observed that among people with certain medical conditions, those who got treatment for gum disease went on to have lower medical costs and fewer hospitalizations in a four-year period, compared with people who didn't get treatment. Among people with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease who had treatment, health care costs were as much as 40% lower than in those who didn't get treated. The treatment was a type of tooth surface cleaning below the gum line called planing and root scaling. Gum disease can result when plaque buildup gets out of hand, causing inflammation below the gum line. The best way to avoid that is to brush twice a day and floss at least once a day, recommends the American Dental Association.

To continue reading this article, you must log in.

Subscribe to Harvard Health Online for immediate access to health news and information from Harvard Medical School.

  • Research health conditions
  • Check your symptoms
  • Prepare for a doctor's visit or test
  • Find the best treatments and procedures for you
  • Explore options for better nutrition and exercise
Learn more about the many benefits and features of joining Harvard Health Online »

I'd like to receive access to Harvard Health Online for only $4.99 a month.

Sign Me Up

Already a member? Login ».


As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.