Oral-systemic health and your dental team

From RDH – by Karen Davis – karen@karendavis.net

Front office administrators, dental assistants, dentists, and dental hygienists have one thing in common: Patients will approach any of them to ask about something they just read or heard on TV regarding how the oral cavity impacts the rest of the body. They don’t discriminate. We’re all part of the dental team, and we all should be prepared to inform and answer questions about oral-systemic health.

There is so much information out there that it seems impossible to keep up with the latest studies, but a few resources can go a long way in keeping dental team members well informed.

  • The American Academy of Periodontology‘s Web sitewww.perio.org, is a great place for health professionals and the general public alike. A recent posting in the AAP Newsroom,”Healthy gums may lead to healthy lungs,” is a sample of the types of oral-systemic updates available.
  • www.PerioFrogz.com is a Web site that publishes summaries of current literature related to periodontal and systemic health complete with “implementation strategies” and patient education handouts. “Periodontal disease as a risk-marker in coronary-artery disease and chronic kidney disease” is a sample of pertinent literature available.
  • www.dentalantioxidant.com is a clearinghouse for research related to antioxidants. A section of research related to oral-systemic health highlights current literature such as this article: “Link between gum inflammation and Alzheimer’s.”
  • www.oralsystemicconnection.com is a Web site that gives an overview on the current understanding between oral and systemic health and is written in lay terms that are easy to understand. Patients wanting more information on the links between oral health and cardiovascular disease, diabetes, pulmonary health, and fetal development can link to a Web page devoted to each of these conditions.
  • An emerging Web site that should prove to be powerful in providing pertinent resources for both dental and medical professionals is the one managed by the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health, www.AAOSH.org.

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