Attitudes, awareness and oral health-related quality of life in patients with diabetes

J Oral Rehabil. 2008 Mar;35(3):218-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2842.2007.01760.x.


The purpose of this study was to assess the knowledge diabetic patients have of their risk for periodontal disease, their attitude towards oral health and their oral health-related quality of life (OHRQL). One hundred and one consecutive patients (age range 31-79 years) recruited from a diabetic outpatient clinic participated in the study. Twenty-seven per cent of participants had type 1 diabetes, 66% type 2 and 7% did not know what type of diabetes they had. The length of time since participants were diagnosed as diabetic ranged from 1 to 48 years. Metabolic control of diabetes as determined by HbA1c levels ranged from 6.2% to 12.0% compared with the normal range of 4.5-6.0%. Thirty-three per cent of participants were aware of their increased risk for periodontal disease, 84% of their increased risk for heart disease, 98% for eye disease, 99% for circulatory problems and 94% for kidney disease. Half of the participants who were aware of their increased risk for periodontal disease had received this information from a dentist. Dental attendance was sporadic, with 43% reporting attendance within the last year. OHRQL was not significantly affected by the presence of diabetes in the group surveyed, in comparison with a previous survey of non-diabetic patients. A significant association was found between metabolic control and dentate status. Awareness of the potential associations between diabetes, oral health and general health needs to be increased in diabetic patients.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Attitude to Health*
  • Awareness
  • Diabetes Complications / psychology*
  • Diabetes Mellitus / psychology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oral Health*
  • Periodontal Diseases / complications
  • Periodontal Diseases / psychology*
  • Quality of Life*
  • Risk
  • Surveys and Questionnaires