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Dental Health & Diabetes

Information from Dental Health Care Professional Richard Guyver.

My background is that I am a dentist in emsworth, and we do a lot of work around what I call Dental Medicine (i.e the role of the mouth on general health). There are links between mouth inflammation and heart disease, stroke, lung disease and of course diabetes. Diabetes is particularly relevant as it has a reciprocal link on the mouth-creating a viscous cycle.

Inflammation in the mouth will decrease the ability to control diabetes in someone who already has it, it will increase the risk of getting diabetes in someone who does not have it. The presence of diabetes will increase the risk of inflammation in the mouth.

I have created and use in my practices a diabetes risk assessment and treatment tool which is called the diabetes/dental matrix. This enables me to find out where a patients mouth may be increasing their risk of diabetes, or decreasing their ability to control their diabetes. We can then focus our efforts on these areas of concern, thereby optimisation oral health and so helping their control. Most of the work on this has been done in the USA, we are far behind in the UK and I hope to change that! I got involved with this as there was plenty of evidence that the dental profession should be offering advice to their patients around this subject, and plenty of evidence that this is not happening.

I have two functions: firstly as a dentist with two practices and a link to www.envisage-emsworth.co.uk and www.thecrawleydentist.co.uk where we can provide the customised care that helps us break this feedback loop.

I have also set up a service (The Diabetes and Dentistry Organisation) that patients can access to help them know that they are doing all they can for their mouth www.diabetesanddentistry.info  The site is very new at this stage, however my website developer will be turning it into something much better soon! The information on the website will, over time, increase as more and more evidence is uncovered.

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