A recent survey about oral health reveals a lack of awareness about the various health issues associated with diabetes. According to the survey, one third of all respondents (32%) were not aware of the possible connection between diabetes and oral health and were less likely to associate oral health issues with diabetes than almost all other health conditions related to diabetes. Also in the survey, more than half (54%) reported one or more symptoms of gum disease, yet 67% do not discuss their oral health with a healthcare professional. The survey also noted that when informed, African Americans are more likely to become concerned and say they plan to pay more attention to their oral health issues.
Adams, a health and wellness advocate, and other healthcare professionals will be leading the effort in African American and Black church communities, encouraging everyone to join the "Take Charge" campaign, an initiative presented by Colgate Total to help increase awareness of oral care for Americans living with diabetes.
“I want to help educate African Americans who are living with diabetes," said Adams. "People with diabetes are highly susceptible to bacterial infection; and many do not know that they are at greater risk for gum disease. It is so important that those living with diabetes or who have family members living with the disease know how to manage their dental health. People need to understand the connection between diabetes and dental health and be willing to work with their healthcare providers. This enables them to take charge of their diabetes to prevent and treat gum disease."
According to the survey, over half of African Americans (55%) surveyed said it is very important for them to have family support in helping them manage their diabetes and almost two-thirds (63%) agreed that it is very important that their family was aware of the health issues related to diabetes. Family support and awareness of health issues is significantly more important for African Americans than Caucasians.
For more information and resources on how to manage oral health and diabetes, visit www.OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.