A survey of oral health education provided by certified diabetes educators

Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2010 Apr;88(1):48-55. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2009.12.015. Epub 2010 Jan 15.


The purpose of this study was to investigate certified diabetes educators' (CDEs) perceptions of the adequacy of their diabetes education curricula in providing oral health information. A questionnaire was mailed to all CDEs with a mailing address in South Carolina (SC), United States (US). Of the 130 respondents, between 50%-60% indicated that they adequately addressed frequent dental visits, daily brushing and flossing, and importance of good oral hygiene. Almost all (93.8%) reported that their curricula did not include an oral health module; the two predominant reasons were: not having enough time (61.0%), and not knowing enough about oral health and its relationship to diabetes (37.0%). Respondents who expressed that they did not know enough about oral health and its relationship to diabetes were less likely to provide adequate 'oral-health-related information' (p=0.008), especially information about the effect of periodontal disease on diabetes (p=0.016). This study indicates that SC CDEs do not routinely provide comprehensive oral health education to people with diabetes primarily due to lack of time and knowledge related to oral health. To better serve their patients, CDEs should integrate oral health education in the diabetes education curriculum.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Data Collection
  • Diabetes Mellitus / therapy*
  • Health Education, Dental / standards*
  • Humans
  • Oral Health*
  • Oral Hygiene / education*
  • Patient Education as Topic / standards*
  • Self Care
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Teaching