Oral and Systemic Health Link

Northeast Delta Dental hosted a unique symposium on Saturday, April 10 at our Concord headquarters where dentists and physicians from Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont had an opportunity to further their understanding of the link between oral health and overall health. Dr. Susan Lynch of Hopkinton, NH kicked off the session, followed by informative presentations by Dr. Joan Otomo-Corgel from UCLA and Dr. Jonathan Shenkin, a respected pediatric dentist from Maine. In an interactive forum, the participants discussed the connection between oral health and systemic health and the implications posed in the delivery of oral and dental care to improve a patient’s quality of life. Dental caries is the single most common chronic disease of childhood; factors such as family size, nutritional status of the mother, and transfer of infectious organisms from caregivers are being studied. Periodontal disease, which can result in tooth loss, has been linked to diabetes, heart disease, premature births and cancer. With better understanding of these links, society is beginning to implement needed changes in policies and in medical/dental education to improve health delivery systems. Seeing your dentist could save your life.

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