Why Physicians and Dentists Must Work Together in the Age of Comprehensive Health Care
Somewhere along the way, something really bizarre happened: The mouth got separated from the rest of the body. After all, we have dentists, and we have physicians. We have dental insurance and we have medical insurance.
The result is the adoption of a notion that what happens in the mouth doesn’t really matter—that they’re just teeth after all … I can always get a denture. But as dental professionals, we understand that it’s not just about teeth. The mouth as part of the gastrointestinal system is home to all kinds of microbes—some helpful and others that are downright destructive. The challenge is to help our medical colleagues and the patient understand the impact that oral health has on systemic health. I do not know of any health care provider who would ask a patient with an open wound to take the contents of a petri dish growing P. gingivalis and rub that into the injury, yet the risk for bacteremia is [Read more…]