Bucco Dental Medicine, University of Yaounde 1
June, 2018


Introduction: Diabetes is currently considered as a pandemic. The relationship between
diabetes and oral diseases is bidirectional. Oral diseases are common among people who have
diabetes and the metabolic control of diabetes influences the onset and severity of oral disease.
Oral diseases are strongly dependent on oral health knowledge, attitudes and practices. Due to the high prevalence of oral diseases in people with diabetes, we aimed at studying the relation between oral health knowledge attitudes and practices and oral status in adults living with diabetes.
Methods: We conducted a cross sectional analytical study in patients with diabetes; both type
1 and type 2 at the NOC of the Yaounde Central Hospital. After an interviewer administered
questionnaire aimed at assessing the oral health knowledge, attitudes and practices with the
patients, we did an oral examination of each participant. This oral examination included:
assessment of the level of oral hygiene, gingival bleeding, and presence of periodontal recession,
periodontal pockets, and tooth mobility. The mean decay, missing and fill (DMF) value was
investigated as well as the prevalence of dental caries. We assessed the overall knowledge,
attitudes and practices of the participants and correlated it with the oral status using the Chi square test and Pearson correlation test.
Results: The study population was constituted by 94 females and 70 males (sex ratio 0.7);
aged 48 ± 15 years with known duration of diabetes of 5-10 years of whom 40 had type 1 diabetes and 124 had type 2 diabetes. The mean HbA1c value was 8.0±2.4%. Majority (78.7%) of participants did not know the existence of relationship between diabetes and oral diseases. We
found a global periodontal prevalence of 51.8% with no cases of severe periodontitis according to the CPI. In addition, the other most frequent diseases were gingivitis (47.6%), halitosis (14.6%) and mandibular tori (7.3%). Furthermore, the population had poor knowledge (11.0±9.5%), erroneous attitudes (25-50%) and inadequate practices (27.9±14.1%) as regards oral health; with a significant relationship between knowledge and attitude (p-value=0.03). Most of the participants had an average oral hygiene with a dental caries prevalence of 62.8%. Factors that had significant association (p-value <0.05) with periodontitis and oral pathologies were frequency of dental, and the technique of tooth brushing.
Conclusion: In this study population with overall poor oral health knowledge, oral diseases were
associated with inadequate practices and poor glycemic control. Diabetes care should emphasize more on oral health promotion knowledge.