Chairside Connection: Increasing oral-systemic health awareness for patients

March 21, 2024
World Oral Health Day is the time to celebrate the impact dental professionals have on people's overall health and the importance of oral-systemic health. The mouth is a gateway to overall well-being.

The mouth is a gateway to someone's overall health. Because oral health professionals often see patients more often than other health-care providers, we can truly make a difference in our patients' overall health when we recognize health issues.

Tracey Jacobs, BSDH, RDH, joins me to celebrate World Oral Health Day, which we're celebrating all month. She acknowledges that things are shifting to include oral health professionals in people's overall treatment: collaboration is growing.

She and I both remember having to chase down the cardiologist or endocrinologist to receive medical clearance for some of our patients. Now, oral clinicians are becoming a bigger part of the discussion. The respect we feel as oral care professionals is growing as others become educated about the oral-systemic link.

World Oral Health Day is the time to celebrate this advancement, and remind our patients of the very important role their mouth plays in their overall health. Tracey shares what's worked for her when it comes to helping patients understand the role their mouth plays in all aspects of their health. 

Closely read figure 1 about just a few health issues related to oral health.

We recommend going into each appointment with an open mind. It may seem like someone has fallen off the wagon with their oral hygiene, but there may be something else going on with their health or in their oral cavity.

Tracey and I could both go on and on about this fascinating topic. We all could! So, take a few minutes to listen to our discussion for some insights and good ideas.