Risk of oral health problems in diabetics can be reduced with healthy lifestyle habits.
Researchers at the University of Copenhagen have helped a large group of diabetics to markedly improve their oral health through health coaching.
"Diabetics are at a higher risk of suffering oral health issues like periodontitis and caries and other problems like dry mouth, fungal infections and poor wound healing," said Ayse Basak Cinar, assistant professor at department of odontology at the university.
In all, 186 patients with type 2 diabetes participated in the study done in Turkey - the first in the world - to demonstrate the role of health coaching in improving dental health.
The patients with diabetes were divided into two groups.
One group was given traditional health information, for example a brochure on good dental hygiene.
The other group was offered motivational health coaching in the form of 3-6 sessions over a six-month period, focusing on diet, stress management and dental care, said the research published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations.
"In patients who were given personal health coaching, biological markers for periodontitis - also known as loose teeth disease - were reduced by as much as 50 percent over a six-month period," the research noted.
"The patients in the trial group saw a significant decline in long-range blood sugar levels, whereas figures for the control group were unchanged," said.
"Health coaching is a resource-intensive intervention. However, dishing out brochures to patients with diabetes and thinking that this would help is also a costly approach for the society," he added.