Oral health knowledge and behavior among adults with diabetes

Hon K. Yuen, Bethany J. Wolf, Dipankar Bandyopadhyay, Kathryn M. Magruder, Carlos F. Salinas, Steven D. London

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)239-246
Number of pages8
JournalDiabetes Research and Clinical Practice
Issue number3
StatePublished - Dec 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank dental hygienists: Sharon Crossley, Pemra Hudson, Lisa Summerlin, and dentists: Drs. Carlos Salinas, Susan Reed, Renata Leite, and Michele Ravenel for their valuable suggestions on the content of the questionnaire. This study was completed with support from the South Carolina Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) for Oral Health with funding provided by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) with a P20 RR-017696.


  • Knowledge of oral disease prevention
  • Oral health education
  • Periodontal diseases
  • Source of oral health information


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