Aim: There is growing evidence that periodontal disease may favour the incidence or aggravation of diabetes and its complications. To investigate the issue, we conducted a meta-analysis of the effect of periodontal therapy on glycaemic control in diabetic patients.
Methods: A literature search was carried out using seven databases (Medline, EMBASE, LILACS, The Cochrane Library, Pascal, IADR Abstracts and Current Contents), with no language restrictions. We followed the QUOROM-recommended standards for improving the quality of reporting meta-analyses of interventional studies.
Results: Twenty-five studies, involving 976 subjects altogether, were included in the present systematic review. Of these, nine studies, involving a total of 485 patients, were controlled trials and were included in the meta-analysis. The standardized mean difference in HbA(1c) with the treatment of periodontal disease was 0.46 (95% CI: 0.11, 0.82). These findings suggest that periodontal treatment could lead to a significant 0.79% (95% CI: 0.19, 1.40) reduction in HbA(1c) level.
Conclusion: The present meta-analysis represents the best information available to date that addresses this issue, and suggests that periodontal treatment could improve glycaemic control. Nevertheless, these results need to be viewed with caution because of a lack of robustness, and deficiencies in the design of some of the studies included. A randomized controlled trial with sufficient statistical power would help to confirm the results of this meta-analysis.