Author(s): Moore PA, Orchard T, Guggenheimer J, Weyant RJ
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Diabetes is a chronic metabolic disease known to affect oral disease progression. The authors surveyed health behaviors essential for preventing dental and periodontal diseases and maintaining oral health is a population of adult patients with type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes. The goals of this study were to assess these patients' oral health behaviors, access to dental care and need for improved health education. METHODS: As part of a dental and periodontal examination, 406 subjects with type 1 diabetes completed a questionnaire regarding their oral health attitudes, behaviors and knowledge. The authors also evaluated 203 age-matched nondiabetic control subjects. RESULTS: The authors found that diabetic subjects' tobacco use and oral hygiene behaviors were similar to those of the nondiabetic control subjects. Diabetic subjects, however, more frequently reported the cost of dental care as a reason for avoiding routine visits. Most of these subjects were unaware of the oral health complications of their disease and the need for proper preventive care. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with diabetes appear to lack important knowledge about the oral health complications of their disease. The results of this survey did not indicate improved prevention behaviors among the subjects with diabetes compared with nondiabetic control subjects. CLINICAL IMPLICATIONS: Dentists have an opportunity and the responsibility to promote good oral health behaviors such as regular dental examinations, proper oral hygiene and smoking cessation that may significantly affect the oral health of their diabetic patients.
This article was published in J Am Dent Assoc
and referenced in Dentistry