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European and American periodontal thought leaders collaborate to advance the dental science behind the perio-systemic link

A large body of research has focused on the role periodontal health plays in systemic health and, specifically, how periodontal disease may be related to other conditions. A recent joint workshop organized by the European Federation of Periodontology (EFP) and the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) aimed to establish a consensus knowledge base of the scientific evidence on the association between periodontitis and systemic diseases, specifically cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and adverse pregnancy complications. Periodontal thought leaders from both Europe and the United States participated in the workshop, which was held in Segovia, Spain, November 11-14.

“International collaboration is necessary to better understand and advance the science behind the relationship between periodontal disease and systemic disease. By working together, periodontists in both Europe and the United States will be able to better promote the importance of periodontal health as part of overall health in our regions and worldwide,” said Robert Genco, DDS, PhD, co-chair of the EFP-AAP 2012 Workshop Organizing Committee and distinguished professor of periodontics at the University at Buffalo.

More than 70 experts in the specialty of periodontology were invited to participate in the workshop and were assigned to one of three workgroups: cardiovascular disease and periodontal disease, diabetes and periodontal disease, and adverse pregnancy outcomes and periodontal disease. The workgroups were responsible for reviewing the scientific evidence in their respective areas and developing a consensus statement on each topic.

“The American Academy of Periodontology welcomed the opportunity to collaborate with the European Federation of Periodontology on this landmark workshop,” said Nancy Newhouse, DDS, MS, president of the American Academy of Periodontology and an assistant clinical professor at the University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Dentistry. “As leaders in the research of the relationship of periodontal disease to other diseases, it is crucial that periodontists from all over the world maintain an open dialogue and collaborate to expand our understanding of the science in this area.”

Added Mariano Sanz, DDS, MD, co-chair of the EFP-AAP 2012 Workshop Organizing Committee and dean of the faculty of dentistry at the Complutense University of Madrid, “Both the AAP and the EFP are enthusiastic to share the proceedings of the workshop with our dental and medical colleagues in an effort to improve the periodontal and systemic health of the public. We are optimistic that the collective energy demonstrated at the workshop will help drive advances in periodontics not because it is self-serving for the profession, but to advance human health globally.”  

The workshop was supported by an educational grant from Colgate Palmolive. Workshop proceedings will be co-published in the Journal of Clinical Periodontology and the Journal of Periodontology in 2013. For more information, look here.

About the American Academy of Periodontology
The American Academy of Periodontology (AAP) is the professional organization for periodontists — specialists in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of diseases affecting the gums and supporting structures of the teeth, and in the placement of dental implants. Periodontists are also dentistry’s experts in the treatment of oral inflammation. They receive three additional years of specialized training following dental school, and periodontics is one of the nine dental specialties recognized by the American Dental Association. The AAP has 8,300 members worldwide.

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