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Level of information about the relationship between diabetes mellitus and periodontitis - results from a nationwide diabetes information program

Knut Weinspach1*, Ingmar Staufenbiel1, Sonja Memenga-Nicksch1, Stefanie Ernst2, Werner Geurtsen13 and Hüsamettin Günay1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Conservative Dentistry, Periodontology and Preventive Dentistry, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, Hannover, 30625, Germany

2 Institute of Biometrics, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg-Strasse 1, Hannover, 30625, Germany

3 School of Dentistry, University of Washington, 1959 NE Pacific Street, Seattle, WA, 98195, USA

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European Journal of Medical Research 2013, 18:6  doi:10.1186/2047-783X-18-6

Published: 11 March 2013



A comprehensive knowledge about the mutual influence between diabetes and periodontitis is decisive for the successful treatment of both diseases. The present investigation aimed at assessing the diabetic and periodontal conditions and, in particular, the degree of knowledge about the relationship between diabetes and periodontitis.


During a diabetes information program, 111 nondiabetics (ND), 101 type 1 diabetics (T1D), and 236 type 2 diabetics (T2D) were subject to a medical and dental examination and completed a self-administered questionnaire. Medical examination included measurements of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c), blood glucose (BG), and body mass index (BMI). Full-mouth examination consisted of the assessment of the decayed, missing, filled teeth index (DMFT) and the periodontal screening index (PSI). Chi-square test, ANOVA, t test of independent samples, univariate and multivariate logistic regression models with variable selection strategies were used for statistical analyses. Due to the exploratory character of the investigation a value of P ≤0.05 was considered to be statistically substantial.


T2D had a significantly higher PSI when compared to T1D and ND (t test: P <0.001; P = 0.005). Approximately 90% of T2D suffered from periodontitis. In addition, diabetics with periodontitis showed a significantly higher BMI when compared to diabetics without periodontitis (multivariate logistic regression: P = 0.002). Almost 60% of all investigated subjects were not informed about the mutual influence between diabetes and periodontitis. T2D had almost as little information about the increased risk for periodontitis as ND.


The data of the present investigation suggest that there is a strong association between type 2 diabetes and chronic periodontitis. The lack of awareness of the mutual influence between diabetes and periodontitis, especially in T2D, demonstrates that this topic is still neglected in dental and diabetic treatment.

Diabetes mellitus; Periodontitis; Mutual influence; Degree of knowledge; Diabetes prevention program; Oral health care program