Hyderabad: Diabetic patients must get their oral health evaluated every six months, according to the guidelines of the World Health Organisation, but in practice, it is found that this is not followed. A recent study by the New York University and East Carolina University collaborate the fact that diabetics across the world are not visiting dentists as regularly as required. Experts state that diabetic patients meet the dentist only when there is severe pain in the teeth, inflammation or while they have difficulty in eating.
The study states that 65 per cent of the visits happened only when there was a pain or inflammation or any other unbearable condition. Preventive check-ups as recommended were not followed. Dr S. Jagadeesh, professor and dental surgeon at the Government Dental College and Hospital explained: “The practice is hardly followed in India. There is very little awareness regarding care for oral health required by diabetic patients. Most of them seek treatment only when the problem is very severe such as pain, inflammation or gum problems. If they have a routine check up, the problem can be identified early and tackled but this is not followed.”
From the patients evaluated at the clinics, a two-way relationship was observed between diabetes and oral health. Diabetic patients have increased risk of inflammation of gums, surrounding tissue and bone. Periodontal disease has adverse effect on blood glucose control which contributes in the progression of diabetes. Periodontal diseases are called the sixth complication of diabetes after kidney disease, damage to the retina and heart disease. The major lacuna which is being seen is that healthcare providers and public healthcare professionals are not creating the required awareness for oral health care, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Dental Association.