Gum Disease and Diabetes in Older People Linked

Armen Hareyan's picture

Bendigo Health has begun a project looking at gum disease in older people with diabetes.
The two-year project will involve surveying people with diabetes about their dental hygiene practices and knowledge.

The surveys are being conducted by Bendigo Health's emergency department, diabetes education team and Community Dental Clinic, by the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative and at selected pharmacies.

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Health professionals will also be surveyed about their knowledge of dental hygiene.

The project aims to improve health workers' understanding of periodontal (gum) disease, improve the information for people at risk of developing periodontal disease and increase the use of prevention strategies in local communities.

Research shows people with diabetes who have poor blood sugar control get gum disease more often and more severely and they lose more teeth than do people with good control.

People whose diabetes is well-controlled, however, have no more periodontal disease than those without.