Conversation highlights the importance of dental-medical integration for optimal patient outcomes.

In partnership with Crest+Oral-B and The Smile Generation, the Pacific Dental Services (PDS) Foundation, has produced a new webinar video focused on the connection between oral health and diabetes. The video, “Oral Systemic Health: The Link Between Oral Hygiene and Diabetes,” features Zuly Fernandez, DMD, MS, a PDS-supported periodontal specialist, and Eden Miller, DO, FOMA, an osteopathic board-certified family practitioner who specializes in diabetes care. The discussion is moderated by Daniel Burke, chief enterprise strategy officer at PDS and vice president of the PDS Foundation. 

Video topic discussions include the dynamic relationship between oral hygiene and diabetes, and the effect that health crises, such as COVID-19, has had on those with diabetic conditions. Research has shown that harmful bacteria and inflammation in the mouth can indicate and even cause systemic conditions throughout the body. Diseases of the mouth, including periodontal disease, may be linked with other medical conditions including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, oral cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and more.

“Studies show that patients with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontal (gum) disease,” says Fernandez. “Gum disease has a negative impact on metabolic control and may also increase the risk of other comorbidities. By successfully treating gum disease, we can improve both metabolic control and diabetic outcomes.”

The webinar also includes insights on the ways medical and dental professionals can better collaborate on behalf of patients during this health crisis and beyond to ensure better systemic health outcomes for diabetic patients at lower costs, as well as the role dentists can play in the diagnosis of pre-diabetes and diabetes.