Given the bidirectional relationship between type 2 diabetes and periodontal disease, this study sought to compile the available data regarding the relationship between home oral hygiene, specifically toothbrushing, and glycemic control and oral health in people with type 2 diabetes.


A systematic scoping review was conducted using a combination of controlled vocabulary and keyword terms for type 2 diabetes and home oral care in PubMed and CINHAL. Publications from the past 20 years were considered for inclusion. Study data were summarized.


A total of 11 studies met our inclusion criteria. In all survey research identified, self-report of more frequent toothbrushing in people with type 2 diabetes was always found to be associated with self-report of better glycemic control and was often associated with better clinician-conducted measures oral health. In the interventional studies identified, health coaching about oral health was associated with improvements in glycemic control, and health coaching compared with health education was found to be associated with enhanced improvement in glycemic control and self-reported toothbrushing behavior.


The available data suggest that improved engagement in toothbrushing behavior may be associated with improved oral health and better glycemic control in people with type 2 diabetes. Whether improvement in glycemic control is a direct result of change to the oral environment, succeeding with one behavior change stimulating engagement in other health behavior changes, a combination of the two, or something else cannot be determined from this review. Additional studies are needed to further explore the potential for oral health coaching to improve the well-being of people with type 2 diabetes.

This article contains supplementary material online at https://doi.org/10.2337/figshare.23118008.

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