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Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2009 Dec;86(3):239-46. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2009.09.010. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

Oral health knowledge and behavior among adults with diabetes.

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Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Health Professions, College of Health Professions, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine levels of oral health knowledge and factors associated with adequate oral health knowledge in adults with diabetes. A convenience sample of 253 adult US residents with diabetes completed an oral health survey to assess their knowledge. Results showed that only 47% of the participants answered five or more (out of a maximum of seven) oral health knowledge items related to diabetes correctly. Participants who received oral health information related to diabetes have 2.9 times the odds of possessing adequate oral health knowledge (i.e., answered five or more items correctly) compared to participants who did not received that information controlling for education and race (OR=2.86, 95% CI 1.31-6.24, P=0.008). Given that oral health information provided by health professionals (dental and/or medical) contributes to improve oral health knowledge among adults with diabetes, health professionals should take the opportunity to educate patients with diabetes about the oral manifestations (e.g., dry mouth) and complications (e.g., periodontitis and oral candidiasis) of diabetes and to promote proper oral health behaviors.

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