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Keywords:

  • Blood glucose monitor;
  • dental chairside screening;
  • diabetes mellitus;
  • gingival crevicular blood;
  • root caries

Abstract

This report reviews the current understanding of the relationship between diabetes and root caries, and investigates the evidence for dental chairside testing of gingival crevicular blood (GCB) glucose levels to assess risk for type 2 diabetes mellitus. Diabetes is linked with the progression of periodontal disease and a greater number of exposed root surfaces at risk for root caries. The rapidly increasing prevalence of type 2 diabetes coupled with a general trend towards retention of teeth means that the number of patients with increased risk for root caries is expanding significantly. Many patients with diabetes or abnormal blood glucose levels are unaware of their condition or that they are at increased risk for oral disease. Systemic blood glucose concentrations are comparable to those found in GCB and therefore may be a useful adjunctive clinical aid in determining appropriate care for patients and providing timely referrals to general medical practitioners. Use of GCB testing within the dental clinic is described. It is proposed that future studies be undertaken to provide clinicians with improved risk assessment strategies and to evaluate GCB glucose screening models.