Award-Winning Gospel Singer and Health Advocate Yolanda Adams Joins Colgate-Palmolive to Help African Americans With Diabetes "Take Charge" of Their Oral Health

Oct 25, 2012, 13:05 ET from Colgate-Palmolive

NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- In support of American Diabetes Month®, Colgate Total® is partnering with Yolanda Adams, the multi-GRAMMY® award-winning Gospel artist and host of "Wellness Wednesday" on her syndicated radio show, Yolanda Adams Live, to educate African Americans about the possible connection between diabetes and gum disease and to empower them to help take charge of their diabetes.


A recent survey about oral health reveals a lack of awareness about the various health issues associated with diabetes. One third of all respondents (32%) were not aware of the possible connection between diabetes and oral health and were less likely to associate oral health issues with diabetes than almost all other health conditions related to diabetes.i More than half (54%) reported one or more symptoms of gum disease, yet 67% do not discuss their oral health with a healthcare professional.ii The survey also noted that when informed, African Americans are more likely to become concerned and say they plan to pay more attention to their oral health issues.

Adams, a health and wellness advocate, and other healthcare professionals will be leading the effort in African American and Black church communities, encouraging everyone to join the "Take Charge" campaign, an initiative presented by Colgate Total® to help increase awareness of oral care for Americans living with diabetes.

"I want to help educate African Americans who are living with diabetes," said Adams. "People with diabetes are highly susceptible to bacterial infection; and many do not know that they are at greater risk for gum disease. It is so important that those living with diabetes or who have family members living with the disease know how to manage their dental health. People need to understand the connection between diabetes and dental health and be willing to work with their healthcare providers. This enables them to take charge of their diabetes to prevent and treat gum disease."

Over half of African Americans (55%) surveyed said it is very important for them to have family support in helping them manage their diabetes and almost two-thirds (63%) agreed that it is very important that their family was aware of the health issues related to diabetes.iii Family support and awareness of health issues is significantly more important for African Americans than Caucasians.

Additional key findings from the survey include:

  • Thirty percent (30%) of African Americans reported a decline in their oral health since being diagnosed with diabetes, which is almost double the decline reported by Caucasians (16%).iv
  • 66% of respondents were unaware that people with diabetes are twice as likely to develop serious gum disease compared with those who do not have diabetes.v
    • Upon hearing this information, the majority (56%) said they plan to pay more attention to their oral
  • More than half (59%) of all respondents and 44% of African Americans respondents reported that they were not personally concerned about gum disease, and only 38% of people with diabetes, but 53% of African Americans, said that they pay "a great deal" of attention to their oral health and dental care.vii
  • African Americans and Hispanics were more likely than Caucasians to say they pay "a great deal" of attention to their oral health and dental care (53% of African-Americans and 46% of Hispanics vs. 34% of Caucasians).viii
  • African Americans (19%) are much more likely to rely on friends/family for information about oral health than are Caucasians (11%) or Hispanics (15%). They are also more likely to rely on magazines or newspapers (20%) and TV shows (17%) for oral care information than Caucasians (9% and 2%).ix
  • African Americans and Hispanics are eager for more information compared to Caucasians; 23% of Caucasians, compared to 40% of African Americans and 43% of Hispanics, said they "have some information about the possible link between oral health/dental care and diabetes but would like more."x

"It's promising to see that the vast majority of people with diabetes (88%) say that not all toothpaste is created equal," said Philip Durocher, General Manager of Oral Care, Colgate Total®.i "As the only toothpaste FDA-approved and American Dental Association-accepted to help prevent gingivitis,* which is the most common form of gum disease,ii Colgate Total® is a good choice for people with diabetes."

For more information and resources on how to manage oral health and diabetes, visit

About Gum Disease
Gingivitis, if left untreated, can progress to serious gum disease – also known as periodontitis – which is an infection below the gum line that destroys the soft tissue and bone that support teeth. This can eventually cause tooth loss. People living with diabetes are prone to many infections, including gum infections.  One simple step to help control your gum health and help prevent early gum disease is to brush for two minutes twice a day with a toothpaste specially formulated for gum health,xi such as Colgate Total, and floss at least once a day.

About Colgate Total® Toothpaste
Colgate Total® toothpaste has a  formula clinically proven to actively fight germs for 12 hours. It is the only toothpaste FDA-approved and American Dental Association-Accepted to help prevent gingivitis.*. Colgate Total® toothpaste also is the number-one toothpaste recommended most by dentists and hygienists.  For more information about Colgate Total® toothpaste, visit

*Colgate Total® toothpaste is approved through the New Drug Application process to help prevent plaque, gingivitis and caries. Not approved for the prevention or treatment of serious gum disease or other diseases.

About Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive is a leading global consumer products company, tightly focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition. Colgate-Palmolive sells its products in over 200 countries and territories around the world under such internationally recognized brand names as Colgate, Palmolive, Mennen, Softsoap, Irish Spring, Protex, Sorriso, Kolynos, Elmex, Tom's of Maine, Ajax, Axion, Soupline, and Suavitel, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet. For more information about Colgate-Palmolive's global business, visit the Company's web site at To learn more about Colgate's global oral health education program, Bright Smiles, Bright Futures®, please visit

About the Survey
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive among 657 U.S. adults, age 18+, diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. The survey sample includes oversamples of 155 African Americans diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes and 161 Hispanics diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes. Data was weighted to be representative of U.S. adults with Type 2 diabetes. Additionally, the individual racial subcategories of Caucasians, African Americans and Hispanics with Type 2 diabetes were weighted individually to be representative of each subpopulation within the greater population of all Type 2 diabetes patients in the U.S. The survey was fielded September 5-13, 2012.   

i Harris Interactive Survey Commissioned by Colgate Total®, September 2012, Q910
ii Q825;  Q701
iii Q720
iv Q920
v Q1000
vi Q1010
vii Q705; Q807
viii Q807
ix Q930
x Q1003
xi American Diabetes Association. Diabetes and Oral Health.

SOURCE Colgate-Palmolive