Current Oral Health Reports

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 8–13 | Cite as

The Impact of Oral Health on General Health: Educating Professionals and Patients

  • Casey Hein
  • Ray C. WilliamsEmail author
Systemic Diseases (M Bartold, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Systemic Diseases


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.

Recent Findings

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.


Periodontal 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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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Periodontics and International Centre for Oral-Systemic Health, College of Dentistry, Dentistry and Dental Hygiene, Rady Faculty of Health ScienceUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  2. 2.Department of Periodontology, School of DentistryUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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