News and Events

DRY MOUTH EXPERTS WELCOME THE CHALLACOMBE SCALE

Challacombe Scale Launch

Ellie Arthur - Regional Account Manager CCMed, Professor Challacombe - Kings College London, and Tanya Brown - Business Development Manager CCMed

Guests

Ellie Arthur - Regional Account Manager CCMed, Professor Challacombe - Kings College London, Dr Pepe Shirlaw - Kings College London, Professor Newton - Kings College London, and Tanya Brown - Business Development Manager CCMed

Speakers

Speakers from Kings College London at The Challacombe Scale Launch:
Dr Suzie Moore, Professor Challacombe, Dr Pepe Shirlaw, and Professor Newton

CCMed staff

CCMed Staff who all helped make the day a success!

Dental and other healthcare professionals, along with leading academics and clinicians attended the official launch of The Challacombe Scale at Tylney Hall in Hampshire.

The eponymous scale, developed by Professor Stephen Challacombe of King’s College will make it far easier to asses the severity of dry mouth or xerostomia which is believed to affect as many as 1 in 4 people. Using a simple numeric system to register the Clinical Oral Dryness Score (CODS), the scale will enable health care professionals to develop treatment plans for dry mouth patients and raise awareness of this debilitating condition.

The four speakers, from King’s College and Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust at the launch event covered in detail the causes, effects and treatment of dry mouth, starting with Dr Pepe Shirlaw, consultant in oral medicine who underlined the role of prescription drugs in causing xersotomia with nine of the 20 most commonly prescribed medication in the USA having dry mouth as a known side effect.

Dr Suzie Moore looked at radiotherapy versus disease-induced hyposalivation, dental diseases and prevention and discussed particular problems relating to patients undergoing treatment for head and neck cancers while Professor Tim Newton spoke about the potentially devastating psychological impact of dry mouth.

Professor Newton stressed that patients do not come to see him about their decreased saliva - they are concerned with the limitations on their body and the pain and discomfort that it causes. The impact on their lives is huge which is why raising awareness among health professionals, carers and the general public is so vital. To help encourage that, CCMed who hosted the event are offering all dental practices a free poster of the Challacombe Scale to display on practice walls. CCMed supply A.S Saliva Orthana, a natural mucin based saliva substitute that is similar to natural human saliva.

So to the highlight of the day, Professor Challacombe himself who pointed to research that has reinforced the importance of saliva as a diagnostic fluid;
Periodontal disease markers, bone disease markers, cancer markers – all can be detected using saliva, breast cancer and antibodies of systemic disease can be detected using saliva and of course, Olympic athletes will be drug tested using saliva.

Those attending the official launch of the Challacombe Scale were left in no doubt about the importance of saliva, the significant physical and psychological impact of dry mouth and the need to raise awareness of a very common but under diagnosed problem. The Challacombe Scale will be a major resource in helping achieve that and Professor Challacombe spoke of the need for it to be generally available and proven as a useful tool. The scale looks at ten key signs, chosen because they are the most easily reproducible but is by no means exhaustive and there is no doubt that there is scope for expanding the use of the scale to GPs, care assistants and others.

Professor Challacombe hopes to see practices embrace the information, put posters in the waiting room and make sure the score is used and recorded in patients’ notes and made the point that is often the rest of the dental team to move practices forward, particularly in terms of patient education and awareness.

For more information or to get your copy of the Challacombe Scale please visit www.aspharma.co.uk.

15/09/2011

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