Periodontitis is the 6th major complication of diabetes, which in turn can deteriorate blood glucose levels and thereby increase the risk for severe complications.
Approximately 80% of people over 30 years old have some form of gum disease (gingivitis in its mild form, and periodontitis in its severe form). This corresponds to 750 million people worldwide with gum problems. The situation is no more positive if we examine data for diabetes: 415 million people worldwide suffer from the disease and an estimated 212 million people are living with undiagnosed diabetes.
What are we doing to raise awareness about the bidirectional connection between diabetes & periodontal disease?
At Sunstar, we have been over 30 years researching into how periodontal disease and diabetes are connected. In 2019 we are carrying out many local initiatives to raise awareness about this link across the globe.
Italy: we are participating in many of the main events related to diabetes happening in the country, and we are one of the main sponsors of the World Diabetes Day in Italy.
Poland: we will be educating over 250 patients about the Perio & Diabetes link at the World Diabetes Day Polish official event.
Spain: we are training pharmacists on how connected are those two diseases, we are participating in a Diabetes Marathon in Madrid and we will inform the diabetic patient and their relatives about how important is their oral health to control their sugar blood levels. Finally, we are also contributing to the Spanish Federation of Diabetic Patients (FEDE) by giving them 10% of our total sales of the Soft-picks during November.
Sweden: in the nordic countries we have been educating intensively Dental Hygienists and Dentists on how strongly related are Diabetes and Periodontitis for more than a year and half. During November, we are also targeting consumer through an ambitious social media campaign.
United Arab Emirates: at the beginning of November, we launched the campaign ‘Living healthier with diabetes’ with which we will target a total of 10,000 diabetic patients, oral care professionals, and other healthcare professionals with specific expertise in diabetic care, by carrying out a series of educational activities until March 2020.
Download the ‘Perio&Diabetes’ project materials we developed with the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP):
- Summary of the evidence linking periodontitis and diabetes
- Summary of the effect of periodontitis on diabetes
Over 30 years of supporting research into the relationship between oral health and diabetes
We are not new to the field of oral health and diabetes. Sunstar has been promoting and supporting research for over 30 years now due to the personal story that links diabetes to the Kaneda family (the founders of the company). SUNSTAR’s founder, Kunio Kaneda, passed away due to a complication of diabetes in his fifties. In 1986, the company held the SUNSTAR Portside Symposium, where Hiroo Kaneda, Kunio’s son, raised the question of a possible link between periodontal disease and systemic diseases. He suffers from both diseases and felt they were somehow connected. This was the first step towards the recognition of the relationship between oral health and general health.
Ever since, the company, through the Sunstar Foundation, has been contributing to research and raising awareness about the two-way relationship between oral health and general health, particularly about periodontal disease and diabetes.