The Impact of Oral Health on General Health: Educating Professionals and Patients
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Purpose of Review
This review provides a brief summary of what science has postulated about the oral cavity and its relationship to the rest of the body. This article then looks at the emerging body of evidence for a definitive statement on the impact of oral health and disease on overall health and disease. It concludes by examining ways to educate oral healthcare providers (OHCPs) (i.e., dentists and dental hygienists) and their role in educating patients and the public about the interrelationships of oral and overall health and challenges associated with this.
Since 1989, there have been major advances in understanding the role of periodontal infection and inflammation in contributing to the risk for systemic diseases. As the evidence emerges for an oral-systemic link, new strategies for educating dentistry, medicine, other non-dental healthcare professions, and the public about this link are also emerging.
Hopefully, a new awareness and understanding of the significance of oral health in sustaining general health lead to a new emphasis for prevention and treatment of periodontal disease.
KeywordsPeriodontal disease Overall health Systemic diseases Oral-systemic link Education
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Conflict of Interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent
This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.
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