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Most unaware of diabetes, oral health link

Oct. 16, 2012 at 7:19 PM   |   Comments

ALEXANDRIA, Va., Oct. 16 (UPI) -- More than one-third of U.S. adults are not aware of the link between diabetes and oral health, a survey indicates.

A survey on oral health conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Colgate Total found 54 percent reported one or more symptoms of gum disease, yet 67 percent did 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," Lurelean B. Gaines, president-elect, healthcare & education of the American Diabetes Association, said in a statement. "Research suggests that people with diabetes are at higher risk for oral health problems, such as gingivitis and gum disease."

Additional survey findings included:

-- 66 percent of respondents were unaware that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease compared with those who did not have diabetes.

-- 59 percent of respondents reported they were not personally concerned about gum disease, while 38 percent of people with diabetes said they paid a great of attention to their oral health and dental care.

-- 36 percent of Caucasians said they are concerned with gum disease versus 56 percent of African-Americans and 52 percent of Hispanics.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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