Colgate Total, American Diabetes Association partner to educate on gum health

NEW YORK — In recognition of American Diabetes Month, Colgate Total on Tuesday announced the "Small Steps Make A Big Difference" campaign to help raise awareness surrounding the relationship between oral health and diabetes. 
Gum disease and diabetes are both critical issues in the United States, the brand said. More than 75% of adults experience some form of gum disease and nearly 1-in-10 American adults have diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes is even higher among certain populations: 12.8% of U.S. Hispanic and 13.2% of African-American adults live with diabetes, compared to 7.6% of non-Hispanic whites, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 
The CDC also notes that people living with diabetes are twice as likely to develop gum disease; diabetics are more prone to infections and less able to fight germs that invade gums. 
To better assist people with diabetes and their families with the resources they need to maintain a healthy smile, Colgate Total has partnered with "Small Steps Make A Big Difference" experts. Experts include: 
  • Natalie Strand, M.D. — CMO Freedom Pain Hospital, VP Integrative Medical Services and co-author of upcoming book "A Woman’s Guide to Diabetes." Twitter: @DrNatStrand;
  • Marjorie Cypress, PhD, C-ANP, CDE — President, health care and education of the American Diabetes Association;
  • Karent Sierra, DDS — Miami-based bilingual dentist and founder of Sharing Smiles Foundation. Twitter: @KarentSierra; and
  • Catrise Austin, DDS — Celebrity cosmetic dentist and author of "Winning the Fight Against Diabetes: The secrets to living longer and healthier with a smile!" Twitter: @DrCatriseAustin
“People living with diabetes already know that small steps — like managing your stress to help keep your appetite in check — can make a big difference in personal health over time, and the same could be said of oral health,” said Natalie Strand, M.D. “A small, easy step people can do is brush twice a day with Colgate Total, which can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks”.
In tandem with the American Diabetes Association, Colgate Total launched a survey of 1,555 members of the Association to better understand how respondents understand oral health. The survey showed that:
  • Thirty-eight percent of people don't agree or don't know that oral health problems can be a complication of poorly managed diabetes;
  • More than 36% of people living with diabetes or prediabetes currently deal with oral health problems, which makes it the third most-common medical condition for those surveyed with diabetes (or prediabetes); and
  • More than 90% of people surveyed have experienced at least oral health issue despite the fact that nearly 69% of those surveyed report making at least one trip to the dentist every year. 
“As the only toothpaste FDA-approved and American Dental Association-accepted to help prevent gingivitis, which is the most common form of gum disease, Colgate Total is a good choice for people with diabetes,” said Dr. Foti Panagakos, global director of scientific affairs and research at Colgate-Palmolive. “Throughout our long-standing, strategic partnership with the American Diabetes Association, we’ve focused joint efforts on creating an ongoing dialogue and providing tools to help people living with diabetes better manage their oral health.”
For more information on oral health and diabetes, as well as ways to improve gum health, visit
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