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Calls for new system of risk profiling patients

“Dentists see patients with pre-diabetic conditions, often unknowingly, on a regular basis,” says IDA President Dr PJ Byrne.

“In many cases this is manifest in poorly controlled periodontal (gum) conditions. They point out the danger signs to the patient and advise patients to follow it up with their GP. It is often many years later that the patient attends again, having been diagnosed with diabetes.”

Over 500 delegates at the Association’s annual conference in Galway were told that the new risk profile document would be ready for use at dental clinics all over the country in a matter of months.

“Previously research was lacking and dentists weren’t sure about the links between chronic diseases that are inflammation based such as lung disease, arthritis, Crohn’s disease and gum disease.

“Now, through extensive research we know the links are there. When dentists are carrying out their examinations they very often can see the early warning signs in the gum condition. Gum disease shares many common risk factors with diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cardio vascular disease” he added.

Dr Byrne said the IDA would be very keen to meet with doctors to explore how both professions can work better together on behalf of our patients.

“If a patient suffers from arthritis or other chronic inflammation based diseases, it is very likely they may also have gum disease. An integrated treatment programme which addresses chronic diseases such as diabetes or other inflammation based chronic conditions and gum disease will lead to better outcomes for the patient” he concluded.

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