Aetna Inc. is joining with Colgate-Palmolive Company to tell consumers about the link between oral health and conditions such as diabetes and heart disease.

Aetna, Hartford, and Colgate-Palmolive, New York, will be using samples of the Colgate Total toothpaste in dental health education campaigns.

Aetna is using Colgate toothbrushes and toothpaste samples as a novelty item and benefit enrollment fairs and offers of toothpaste samples in brochures and newsletters.

Research shows Colgate Total toothpaste can fight gum disease, according to Colgate-Palmolive.

Other research has shown that people with gum disease are more likely than other people to give birth prematurely, suffer from strokes, and have trouble controlling their blood sugar.