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Periodontal health and diabetes awareness among Saudi diabetes patients

Authors Bahammam M

Received 18 December 2014

Accepted for publication 6 January 2015

Published 2 February 2015 Volume 2015:9 Pages 225—233


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Johnny Chen

Maha A Bahammam

Department of Periodontology, King Abdulaziz University Faculty of Dentistry, Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

Purpose: This study aimed to examine diabetic patients in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, regarding their general diabetic and oral health-related awareness and practices, their awareness of the association of diabetes with periodontal disease, and their sources of diabetes-related information.
Methods: Diabetic patients (n=454) who were receiving care at the diabetes clinic in King Abdulaziz University Hospital, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, from October 2013 to May 2014, completed a six-part questionnaire assessing their sociodemographic characteristics, general and oral health awareness and practices, and sources of diabetes-related information. Descriptive statistics were used to report the results.
Results: The responses indicated inadequate health-related practices in the surveyed group: 22.2% brushed their teeth twice daily, 73.6% never flossed their teeth, and while 80.2% visited a physician in the past year, only 12.6% visited a dentist during the same year. Of the respondents, 94.8% reported that they had never received advice on oral hygiene tasks in relation to diabetes from a health professional. Awareness about the diabetes and periodontal disease association was limited: 46.7% knew that diabetics have gum problems more often if their blood sugar stays very high, and only 21.8% knew that gum disease makes it harder to control blood sugar in diabetic patients. A significant association (P<0.05) was found between a higher level of education and greater general and oral awareness, as well as a significant association (P<0.05) between longer duration of disease, regular exercise, and regular visits to the physician and awareness about diabetes mellitus. Additionally, a significant association (P<0.05) was found between regular dental visits and both periodontal disease and diabetes awareness. Family and friends were the main source of diabetes-related information, and the Internet was the least likely source.
Conclusion: Customized educational programs should be planned for diabetic patients according to community needs.

Keywords: periodontal health, diabetes, patients, awareness, Saudi Arabia

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