Spotting Type 2 at the dentist 

New research suggests that dental teams could play an integral role in the early detection of Type 2 diabetes as well as identifying people at high risk of developing the condition. 

Researchers at the University of Birmingham found that using risk assessment tools, such as patient questionnaires and blood testing within a dental surgery setting, could lead to better outcomes for patients and improved diabetes management.  

Gum disease (severe periodontitis) is significantly linked to Type 2 diabetes, and with links between compromised glycaemic status and oral health, dental professionals could be vital in the identification of the condition. 

Lead researcher Professor Iain Chapple, Head of the University of Birmingham’s School of Dentistry said: “Our review identified positive attitudes of physicians, dental team members, patients and the public towards risk assessing and early case detection of diabetes and pre-diabetes within the dental surgery. Patients also strongly supported tests being undertaken that provided immediate results. 

“Not only does this demonstrate that there may be benefit in engaging the dental workforce to identify these cases, but also shows a need for a more joined-up approach to care pathways between physicians and dental practitioners.”

The full paper is available to read in Current Oral Health Reports HERE. 


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