Americans Diabetics Are Unaware Connection Between Diabetes and Oral Health


In support of American Diabetes Month, Colgate Total is working with the American Diabetes Association to educate patients about diabetes and gum disease and to empower them to help take charge of their diabetes.

A recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Colgate Total about oral health reveals a lack of awareness about the various health issues associated with diabetes. More than one third of all respondents (36 percent) are not aware of the link between diabetes and oral health and are less likely to associate oral health issues with diabetes than almost all other health conditions related to diabetes. More than half (54 percent) report one or more symptoms of gum disease – yet 67 percent do not discuss their oral health with their doctor.

“Not only are people with diabetes more susceptible to serious gum disease, but gum disease may also have the potential to affect blood glucose control and contribute to the progression of diabetes. Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis and gum disease,” said Lurelean B. Gaines, RN, MSN, President-Elect, Health Care & Education, American Diabetes Association.

Healthcare professionals and celebrities alike have joined the campaign to help increase awareness of oral care for Americans living with diabetes. To share important information with the diabetes community, Colgate Total presents the combined power of Dr. Natalie Strand, a physician who managed her diabetes while also winning a popular endurance reality TV show; Dr. Aliza Lifshitz, TV personality and Hispanic health advocate; and Yolanda Adams, multi-GRAMMY award-winning Gospel artist.

“People with diabetes are at a greater risk for gum disease because they are more susceptible to bacterial infection due to their condition,” said Dr. Strand, assistant professor of clinical anesthesiology and practicing physician at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine. “As a person with diabetes myself, I know firsthand how challenging it can be to manage this disease. It is important for people with diabetes to understand the oral health connection and to work with their healthcare providers to help take charge of their diabetes by both preventing and treating gum disease.”