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Article: Volume 49 Number 7 Page 577 - July/August 2022

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  Dental Update 502: 577-582

Special Care Dentistry:  Huntington’s Disease: The Role of Dentistry in the Multidisciplinary Team

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Abstract: Huntington’s disease is a progressive, genetic disorder, leading to changes to cognition, movement and behaviour. The oral health of these patients can rapidly deteriorate if they are not assessed and managed early. This article explores the role of the dental team, as part of the multidisciplinary team, in caring for Huntington’s disease patients. It highlights some of the challenges in providing oral care for this complex group, along with a pathway of care, used by one Special Care Dental Team, in helping to reduce oral complications.

Clinical relevance: It is important for GDPs to understand the oral health needs of patients with Huntington’s disease and their role in supporting the oral health of these patients.

Author notes: Emma Critchley, BDS, MFDS (Edin), DSCD, MSc (Rest), MSCD (Edin), Speciality Registrar Special Care Dentistry, North West Deanery, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. Finbar O’Mahony, BDS, MFDS (Glas), DSCD, MSCD (Glas), Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. Elizabeth Lemon, Specialist Speech and Language Therapist, Adult Community SALT Ribbleton Clinic, Preston, Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust. Angela Adkins, BDS, FDSRCPS, MSNDRCS. Consultant in Special Care Dentistry, Clinical Director Head and Neck Surgery, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Chorley and South Ribble Hospital. email: ecritchley1@nhs.net

Objective: The reader should understand the clinical implications of Huntington’s disease and how to manage this patient group.

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