Objectives: To describe periodontal disease status in diabetic patients in Trinidad.
Method: A cross-sectional study was conducted. Patients attending a tertiary referral centre for diabetes at an out-patient clinic were invited to undergo oral examinations. The basic periodontal examination (BPE) was used to assess periodontal disease status.
Results: Seventy-two patients participated in the study. Mean age was 55.7 years, 54.2% were female, with 66.7% and 22.2% being of Indo-Trinidadian and Afro-Trinidadian ethnicity respectively. There were 61.1% who had not attended for dental treatment within the last year and 56.9% only attended when in pain; 15.3% had a history of cigarette smoking and 31.9% currently wore a denture. Plaque was detectable with the use of a probe in 40.3% of the 67% that underwent a BPE assessment; 38.8% were found to have advanced periodontal disease.
Conclusion: The prevalence of periodontal disease in this sample of diabetic patients suggests that regular dental examinations, oral health education, and collaborative patient care between medical and dental practitioners should form part of the routine management of diabetic patients in Trinidad.