Annals of African Medicine
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Year : 2015  |  Volume : 14  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 193-199

Oral diseases and diabetes: Nigerian medical and dental caregivers' perspective

1 Department of Restorative Dentistry, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria
2 Department of Periodontics, University of Benin, Benin City, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Adebola O Ehizele
University of Benin, Benin City
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1596-3519.158525

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Objectives: The objective was to determine the knowledge of medical and dental caregivers regarding the link between oral diseases and diabetes mellitus (DM); and their role in the management of the oral complications of DM. Materials and Methods: This comparative study was carried out among a group (n = 100) of resident doctors undergoing postgraduate training in medicine and dentistry at a Nigerian Teaching Hospital. A 28-item self-administered questionnaire was used for data collection and it elicited information on respondents' demographics, practice behaviors, knowledge about link between oral diseases, and DM, as well as their knowledge about oral complications of DM. Results: Majority of the dental senior residents (83.3%) had adequate knowledge of the oral manifestation of DM and the link between oral disease and DM while only 43.8% of the medical junior residents had adequate knowledge (P = 0.060). Majority (63.0%) who strongly agreed that physicians need to collaborate with dental professionals to reduce DM patients' risk of developing oral diseases belonged to the dental group (P = 0.040) and only 35.3% of medical group strongly agreed that physicians should be taught how to screen for oral disease in DM patients (P = 0.009). A vast majority (89.6%) of the medical group however felt that they needed additional information about the link between oral disease and DM (P = 0.036). Conclusion: The findings indicate that there is still a major gap in knowledge of the link between oral diseases and DM; as well as a poor appreciation of the need for a collaborative management of DM patients by medical and dental practitioners.

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