Overview

Diabetes is a complex, chronic illness that requires ongoing medical care with strategic risk reduction strategies beyond glycemic control. Patients require self-management education and support to prevent acute complications and reduce the risk of long-term complications. A range of evidence-based interventions are available to improve diabetes outcomes.1

With an aging population and an increasing number of overweight adolescents, teenagers, and adults, the U.S. and other countries are experiencing a rapid increase in the prevalence of the disease, particularly type 2 diabetes. Oral healthcare professionals might make a difference in the 35-50% of undiagnosed cases of diabetes by focusing on the clinical recognition of short and long-term diabetes-related symptoms at dental visits. Proper management of diabetes will positively impact a patient’s oral health, especially as it relates to risk for periodontal disease. Determining whether or not medical issues warrant immediate care before elective dental procedures is an important part of patient protocol and needs to be instituted by dental practitioners. Better overall communication and ongoing interaction between medical and oral healthcare providers is needed to improve the overall health of individuals with diabetes.