United Concordia Dental Oral Health Study: The Results

Published in American Journal of Preventive Medicine


With chronic conditions affecting millions and periodontal disease an epidemic in its own right—nearly half of all Americans have periodontal disease at any time.1 Our new research builds on the results of our landmark oral health study in 2012 that showed the importance of treatment and maintenance on a person’s periodontal health and how it affects his or her overall health.

The new statistics demonstrate the importance of treating gum disease for people with one or more of the following conditions: type 2 diabetes, cerebral vascular (stroke) disease, coronary artery (heart) disease and women who were pregnant. The results were impressive in annual medical cost savings and reduced hospitalizations. 



UCWellness barchart diabetes, heart disease, stroke

Source: Jeffcoat, M., et. al., Periodontal Therapy Improves Outcomes in Systemic Conditions,
 Abstract, American Association of Dental Research, March 21, 2014



"I'm pleased that the American Journal of Preventive Medicine has decided to publish the study I've conducted with United Concordia Dental and Highmark Inc. This study shows reduced hospitalizations and health care costs are possible when individuals with at least one chronic condition or who are pregnant receive treatment for their gum disease. Having the study peer-reviewed speaks to the importance of the findings and the credibility of our work." -Dr. Marjorie Jeffcoat, D.M.D.


What this means for people who have one or more chronic conditions and/or women who are pregnant

If you have a chronic condition, such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and/or are pregnant, it is more important than ever to keep up with consistent oral care at home and see your dentist regularly. You many need additional treatment to keep your mouth healthy, which can help improve your overall health, and keep your medical costs down.


How to make better oral health a part of your overall wellness

The basics of good dental care are relatively simple—brush twice day, floss once a day and see your dentist. It’s also important to follow your dentist’s recommendations for treatment. If you have a chronic medical condition, your dentist may recommend additional treatments to keep your teeth and gums healthy. With better oral care, you could see improvements in your overall health, plus savings in medical costs and reduced hospitalizations.

Learn about our oral health study

Download United Concordia's white paper on the oral health study



1. CDC, Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010, 09/12




Give Us Your Feedback