Amy Doneen, the nurse co-author of “Beat the Heart Attack Gene,” delivered the opening address for the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health’s annual session in St. Louis, reminding dental professionals, “Oral health is critical. Dentistry is in the business of saving lives.”ADDITIONAL READING |At the AAOSH annual session Charles Whitney, MD, launching community and medical outreach program for dental practices Her presentation focused on a recent study about an eight-year outcomes program regarding the early prevention of cardiovascular events (Circulation journal 2014). The AAOSH audience, consisting primarily of several hundred dental professionals, was told by Doneen to “be observant” in noticing “red flags” in the dental setting. Periodontal and endodontic diseases were among the red flags familiar to the dental professionals, who attended the AAOSH annual scientific session that advocates a greater awareness of oral-systemic connections. But Doneen also discussed observing for Sjogren’s syndrome, hypertension, psoriasis, chronic inflammatory conditions, and even Frank’s Sign ear creases.RELATED |Oral-systemic health: The time is now! “It all boils down to inflammation,” she told the audience about the developing bond between medical and dental professionals. She described a recent case involving a male who was referred to a dental professional after deteriorating heart conditions continued despite long-term medical intervention. Doneen said a growing number of medical professionals want to recommend dental professionals to patients, particularly dentists who understand oral-systemic connections. She said, “We see it all the time” in reference to dental infections present in chronically ill health-care patients.ADDITIONAL READING |Enough talk about the oral-systemic link: It's time to bridge the gap between dentistry and medicine “Let’s make it personal,” she said. “You do have a role in CVD prevention. You are saving lives!” Doneen developed the Bale/Doneen Method with Dr. Bradley Bale, a heart attack prevention specialist based in Tennessee and Texas. AAOSH started its three day-convention, which was hosted at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel in St. Louis, by hosting a series of seminars regarding the science and “implementation” of oral-systemic health. Dentists speaking at the AAOSH meeting included Drs. Dennis Abbott, Joe Blaes, Mark Cannon, Duane Keller, Susan Maples, Tom Nabors, David Singh, Doug Thompson, and David Wong. Hygienists Jo-Anne Jones and Trisha O'Hehir also delivered presentations.