In support of American Diabetes Month, Colgate Total partnered with American Diabetes Association for the “Small Steps Make a Big Difference” campaign to help raise awareness surrounding the often overlooked association between oral health and diabetes.
Both gum disease and diabetes have reached concerning levels in the U.S. More than 75% of adults experience some form of gum disease. Nearly one in ten American adults live with diabetes, and the prevalence of diabetes is even higher among certain populations: 12.8 percent of U.S. Hispanic and 13.2 percent African-American adults live with diabetes, compared to 7.6 percent of non-Hispanic whites. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people living with diabetes are two times as likely to develop gum disease. That’s because people with diabetes are generally more susceptible to infections and less able to fight germs that invade the gums.
To better equip people with diabetes and their families with resources to take care of their smiles, Colgate Total has teamed up with “Small Steps Make a Big Difference” experts. Some members of the expert panel will make appearances at health events across the U.S., including the American Diabetes Association’s Step Out: Walk to Stop Diabetes that is being held in Los Angeles on November 15, and providing “small steps” tips via social media in English and Spanish. Experts include:
- Natalie Strand, M.D. – CMO Freedom Pain Hospital, VP Integrative Medical Services and co-author of upcoming book A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes. Twitter: @DrNatStrand
- Marjorie Cypress, PhD, C-ANP, CDE – President, Health Care & Education of the American Diabetes Association
- Karent Sierra, DDS – Miami-based bilingual dentist and founder of Sharing Smiles Foundation. Twitter: @KarentSierra
- Catrise Austin, DDS – Celebrity cosmetic dentist and author of Winning the Fight Against Diabetes: The secrets to living longer and healthier with a smile! Twitter: @DrCatriseAustin
“People living with diabetes already know that small steps – like managing your stress to help keep your appetite in check – can make a big difference in personal health over time, and the same could be said of oral health,” said Natalie Strand, M.D. “A small, easy step people can do is brush twice a day with Colgate Total, which can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.”
In tandem with the American Diabetes Association, Colgate Total launched a nationwide survey of 1,555 members of the Association to better understand how respondents perceive oral health. The survey revealed:
- 38% of people surveyed don’t agree or don’t know that oral health problems can be a complication of poorly managed diabetes
- Over 36% of people living with diabetes or prediabetes currently have oral health problems, making it the third most common medical condition for those surveyed with diabetes or prediabetes
- Over 90% of people surveyed have experienced at least one oral health issue despite the fact that nearly 69% of those surveyed report making at least one trip to the dentist every year
“As the only toothpaste FDA-approved and American Dental Association-accepted to help prevent gingivitis, which is the most common form of gum disease, Colgate Total is a good choice for people with diabetes,” said Dr. Foti Panagakos, Global Director of Scientific Affairs and Research at Colgate-Palmolive. “Throughout our long-standing, strategic partnership with the American Diabetes Association, we’ve focused joint efforts on creating an ongoing dialogue and providing tools to help people living with diabetes better manage their oral health.”