The aim of this study is to evaluate the awareness, perception, sources of information, and knowledge of diabetes mellitus and periodontal health among Jordanians, to examine the factors related to their knowledge, and organize effective education programs. A random sample of 500 diabetic patients was recruited from three hospitals and three comprehensive health centers that represent both urban and rural populations in Jordan between September 25, 2006, and February 20, 2007. Completed questionnaires with the answers were returned by 405 participants (response rate was 81%). Only 28% indicated that they followed up gum diseases with the dentist; 48% were aware that diabetic patients are more prone to gum diseases and oral health complications. About a third (38%) recognized that their periodontal health might affect their glycaemic level. Television and Internet were the main source of knowledge for dentists with the rate of 50%. Knowledge about diabetes and periodontal health among diabetic patients is low, and majority of patients were unaware of the oral health complications of their disease and the need for proper preventive care. Issues on education need to be addressed. Therefore, appropriate educational programs should be planned according to community needs, and the target of these programs should be patients with irregular visits to the dentist and physicians. The clinical implication of our findings is that dentists, physicians, and other health providers should inspect diabetic patients for gum diseases each time they come for care and recommend that diabetic patient see a dentist regularly.
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