Research increasingly shows links between periodontal disease and systemic illnesses, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, myocardial infraction (stroke), and complications in pregnancy.
The impact of such research is “to change the role of the periodontist,” says Thomas Van Dyke, chairman of the department of Applied Oral Sciences at Boston’s Forsyth Institute, who adds that not enough emphasis is being placed on oral care as part of general medical care.
The EFP video Perio and General Health: The Vital Connections explores these links and discusses what needs to be done to improve integration between periodontal care and general health care.
The dentist is often the first health professional to see patients and thus can potentially play an important role in screening them for other illnesses. At the same time, general practitioners could check if their patients are suffering from gingival inflammation and, where appropriate, recommend a dental check-up.
The video features periodontal specialists including Maurizio Tonetti, executive director of the European Research Group on Periodontology, Niklaus Lang, editor of Oral Health and Preventive Dentistry, and Mariano Sanz, professor of periodontology at the Complutense University in Madrid.
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