Chairside Connection: How to discuss the oral-systemic connection with patients

March 30, 2022
Did you know March 20 was World Oral Health Day? Now is a great time to let patients know that their oral health affects their whole body. Here are some conversation starters from Jo-Anne Jones, RDH.

Through patient education, dental professionals, especially hygiensts, are the gateway to systemic health, which is an incredibly important topic. I had a recent conversation with Jo-Anne Jones, RDH, who focuses on the oral-systemic link. She acknowledged that patients still don’t realize how important it is to take care of their mouth, and that doing so can prevent or lessen the impact of so many other illnesses. COVID did call some attention to this. We learned that the severity of many COVID outcomes was related to chronic inflammation in the mouth.

But since oral inflammation is a “silence disease,” patients often don’t take it seriously. Jo-Anne explains the relationship between oral and systemic health. She does such a good job, this is a good video to share with your patients. She discusses some systemic illnesses that can be exacerbated by poor oral health, how dental professionals can educate patients, and immediate steps people can take to help themselves.

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