British Dental Journal – Editor’s picks

Periodontology featured highly in the recent October edition of the British Dental Journal. We have chosen several articles to bring to your attention.

Diabetes toolkit to link medical and dental care for patients:

As you will be aware, the BSP has done considerable work to raise awareness amongst professionals and patients of the links between diabetes and periodontal disease. Together with the diabetes community website, the BSP ran a campaign to raise awareness of the increased risk of periodontal disease in people living with diabetes. We have a page on our website dedicated to this topic containing research papers, professional guidance and patient and health care professionals Gum Health Awareness infographics:

We are delighted to hear that NHS England wish to use the Gum Health Awareness infographics we produced to raise awareness about the connection between periodontitis and Type 2 diabetes. We would propose that patients with diabetes be automatically referred to a dentist as well as other dental health professionals to check for periodontal disease and would support a clear pathway to dental care for people with Type 2 diabetes.


Enhanced role for oral health in imminent NHS long-term plan:

We recently advised our members that Dr Mark Ide, BSP President-Elect, responded to NHS England with a detailed document highlighting that Dentistry did not feature in the NHS long-term plan despite oral conditions having a systemic impact on other areas of health.

Writing on behalf of the BSP and its membership, Dr Ide stressed that good oral health is a central part of overall wellbeing and the ability to live healthily. In addition, it has been consistently shown that poor oral health, including periodontal health, is associated with poorer Quality of Life and that treatment of such problems can help improve this.

We are pleased to note from the BDJ article with England’s Chief Dental Officer, Sara Hurley, that the imminent 10-year plan for the NHS in England looks likely to contain a strong focus on improving oral health amongst patients. We are excited to hear about her vision of increasing access and improving oral health.


New classification for periodontal diseases:

This is an interesting article about the necessary steps to adopt any new classification, recognising that “it is pertinent to consider engaging GDPs, DCPs and patients’ representatives in the process of planning, the adoption of the new classification, the potential modifications before local implementation, and the roll out strategy.” (M.Dorri)

The BSP has addressed the implementation challenge for the 2017 Classification and written an implementation paper which will be published in the BDJ in January 2019, with an electronic version available in December 2018. This will also contain case examples, explaining how the new system can work alongside the current BPE screening system that is embedded in UK dental practice. A flowchart has been produced which will be distributed to general practices throughout the UK.

It is impressive how this extensive work had been completed extremely quickly and our thanks go to the members of the BSP Working Group; Professor Iain Chapple, Dr Thomas Dietrich, Professor Francis Hughes, Dr Penny Hodge, Dr Mike Milward, Professor Ian Needleman, Dr Phil Ower, Dr Manoj Tank, Dr Reena Wadia, and Professor Nicola West.