Third European JSDEI Seminar Educates Dental and Medical Professionals on Link Between Periodontitis and Diabetes

15 November 2014

The European Joslin Sunstar Diabetes Education Initiative (JSDEI) seminar drew approximately 280 dental and medical professionals to Frankfurt.

“Events such as this symposium give scientists, dentists and other medical professionals the opportunity to meet and learn from each other. The effort of the Sunstar Foundation to bring the different professions together is thus very remarkable. These meetings should take place more often to promote and encourage collaboration for the benefit of medical professionals and patients alike,” commented Dr Edward S. Horton, Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School in the US.

Horton’s lecture focused on the role of lifestyle modification in diabetes control and prevention. As obesity is a major risk factor for diabetes, weight loss contributes significantly to lowering the risk of developing the disease. In this respect, Horton presented the results of the Diabetes Prevention Program Outcomes Study, a randomised trial with over 3,200 individuals with impaired glucose tolerance. The study demonstrated that lifestyle changes reduced the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by 34 per cent compared with the placebo group within ten years of follow-up. “These findings show that prevention is crucial and both dentists and physicians should educate at-risk patients,” Horton concluded.

Furthermore, a lecture by Dr Robert J. Genco, Distinguished Professor of Oral Biology and Microbiology from the University at Buffalo in the US provided insights into the current understanding of the association between periodontal disease and diabetes. Among other aspects, the professor of oral biology and microbiology showed that periodontal disease is two to three times more prevalent and severe in diabetic patients, especially in those with poor glycaemic control. Since there is emerging evidence that treatment of periodontal disease in diabetic patients may improve glycaemic control, screening for periodontal disease should be performed on a regular basis in the physician’s office, and for diabetes in the dental office. In a study presented by Genco, dental hygienists were able to identify a significant number of patients with prediabetes using a 5-minute in-office test. There are about six million people with undiagnosed diabetes in the US alone.

Prof. Baptist Gallwitz from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Tübingen in Germany presented pharmacological aspects of diabetes treatment that could interfere with optimal outcomes of dental treatment. For example, he informed the audience that dentists should postpone dental surgery in cases of high blood glucose levels to avoid complications.

It has been known for decades that Type 1 and 2 diabetes are risk factors for periodontal disease. However, the impact of periodontitis on diabetes has not been researched in depth. Therefore, Prof. Thomas Kocher from the University of Greifswald in Germany outlined the controversial debate about the effect of periodontal treatment on diabetes in his presentation.

Joint clinical guidelines for the interdisciplinary management of patients with periodontitis and/or diabetes, which is currently being developed by various German health associations, was presented by Prof. Søren Jepsen from the University of Bonn in Germany. The overall aim of the initiative is to facilitate cooperation between physicians and dentists to improve the care of patients with these diseases. “Management of periodontitis should generally be part of diabetes management and vice versa,” Jepsen said.
In addition, Dr William C. Hsu from Harvard Medical School spoke about the implications and benefits of new advanced information technologies, such as Web-based and mobile programs, for diabetes monitoring. Prof. Steven E. Shoelson, also a researcher at Harvard Medical School, showed that targeting inflammation with the drug salicylate may improve glycaemic control in Type 2 diabetic patients. A one-year study of over 280 patients found that the mean HbA1c level was 0.37 per cent lower in patients treated with salsalate compared with those in the placebo group within 48 weeks, he said.

The Sunstar Foundation was established in 1977. Its aim is to improve oral care among the general public. For more than three decades, the Foundation has actively promoted dental health through educational activities. The JSDEI seminar was held for the third time in Europe, the previous two events were held in Geneva (2012) and Milan (2013).
The next European symposium is scheduled for 6 November 2015 and will take place in Barcelona in Spain.

(Source: Claudia Duschek, Dental Tribune International)

About the Joslin Sunstar Diabetes Education Initiative
Sunstar Foundation and Joslin Diabetes Center, the world’s preeminent diabetes research and clinical care organization, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School are organising a series of symposiums with the support of Sunstar across the world on the inter-relationship between oral health and diabetes as part of the Joslin Sunstar Diabetes Education Initiative (JSDEI). Their aim is to increase the awareness of professionals, patients and general public at large by educating them on the latest research that demonstrates this link between oral health and systemic health.

About the Sunstar Foundation
Established in 1977, the Sunstar Foundation for Oral Health Promotion has the aim to improve oral care among the general public, promoting dental health through various activities. The Sunstar Foundation’s efforts have been highly acclaimed both in Japan and internationally for their beneficial impact on society. In April 2008, Sunstar entered into an agreement with Joslin Diabetes Center to launch the Joslin-Sunstar Diabetes Education Initiative which includes international symposiums for professionals. 15 JSDEI seminars were held in Japan, the US and Europe and the second European JSDEI seminar was held in Milan, Italy on September 20, 2013.

About Sunstar
Sunstar is a world leader in oral care with preventative and therapeutic products sold under the brands G∙U∙M, Butler, Ora2 and GUIDOR worldwide. Sunstar was one of the first companies to identify and promote the integral relationship between oral health and overall systemic health. Sunstar has a robust research and development program that includes collaborative projects with leading companies, research institutions, as well as dental and medical experts around the world. The Company was founded in 1932, and today, Sunstar provides high-value-added products and services in the areas of oral care, health and beauty, as well as the chemical and automobile industries globally under the motto “Always strive to help people everywhere achieve better health and enhance their quality-of-life.”
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