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Oral health information from the dentist to the diabetologist

  • Mohamed Ahdi
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author at: Slotervaart Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Room 9B-v010, Louwesweg 6, 1066 EC Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Tel.: +31 20 512 5429, +31 6 18692353 (mobile); fax: +31 20 512 4783.
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 WJT and HGM are shared second authors for their equal contribution to this manuscript.
    Wijnand J. Teeuw
    Footnotes
    1 WJT and HGM are shared second authors for their equal contribution to this manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Department of Periodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 WJT and HGM are shared second authors for their equal contribution to this manuscript.
    Hedvig G.T.A. Meeuwissen
    Footnotes
    1 WJT and HGM are shared second authors for their equal contribution to this manuscript.
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Joost B.L. Hoekstra
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Victor E.A. Gerdes
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

    Department of Vascular Medicine, Academic Medical Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Bruno G. Loos
    Affiliations
    Department of Periodontology, Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA), University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Eelco W. Meesters
    Affiliations
    Department of Internal Medicine, Slotervaart Hospital, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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  • Author Footnotes
    1 WJT and HGM are shared second authors for their equal contribution to this manuscript.

      Highlights

      • Periodontitis is considered to be a complication of diabetes mellitus.
      • Diabetologist are currently not informed on their patients' oral health status.
      • An oral health questionnaire (OHQ) can be used for the exchange of information.
      • The OHQ is a valuable tool for screening of undiagnosed periodontitis.
      • In clinical practice, however, the transfer of information is far from optimal.

      Abstract

      Background

      Diabetes care includes annual evaluation of micro- and macrovascular complications, however, oral pathologies are not included. We studied retrieving oral health information, in particular periodontal disease, from the dentist and studied the association between the reported periodontal condition and variables of both diabetes and dental care.

      Methods

      During their annual comprehensive diabetes evaluation, patients were asked to deliver an oral health questionnaire (OHQ) to their dentist. Based on the returned OHQs, the process of retrieving oral health information from the dentist was analyzed. In addition, reported oral health measures with special emphasis to periodontitis, using a Periodontal Screening Index (PSI), were related to diabetes-related variables.

      Results

      We included 889 patients of whom 102 patients (11%) did not visit a dentist at all and 252 (28%) were edentulous. The response rate was <50% for oral information on patients with diabetes. For the second aim, OHQs of 207 patients could be further analyzed. A moderate to high PSI-score was found in 106 patients, of whom 65% were untreated for periodontitis. Furthermore high PSI-scores were associated with poor oral hygiene, soft tissue pathologies and periodontal treatment, but not significantly with glycemic control and presence of diabetes complications.

      Conclusion

      The transfer of information from the dentist to the diabetologist is far from optimal. An OHQ can be a valuable tool for the identification of patients with diabetes with poor oral health especially untreated periodontal disease, which is helpful for proper diabetes management.

      Abbreviations:

      ADA (American Dental Association), OHQ(s) (oral health questionnaire(s)), PSI (periodontal screening index)

      Keywords

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