May 2009, Volume 30, Issue 4
Published by AEGIS Communications
From the Co-Editor
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD
The worlds of dentistry and medicine are interlinked, and we as oral healthcare professionals have embraced that concept now more than ever before. Although we have always been aware of the connection between systemic diseases and oral pathology, we are equipped with more cutting-edge knowledge concerning the way we treat these patients because of scientific breakthroughs and supporting data.
This research has eroded the concept that oral infections, such as periodontitis, are local entities, underscoring the “oral-systemic relationship” and stressing the need for patient management that includes comprehensive interdisciplinary care. In the future, comprehensive care will likely involve dental and medical professionals working with other health professionals to assess and manage periodontitis and systemic disease. We need to keep our medical colleagues informed. Through our services, we can empower patients to live better, healthier lives.
In recent years, substantial data has clearly demonstrated that essentially all of the chronic diseases of aging, including periodontitis, are connected through a common inflammatory mechanism.1
Consider our Continuing Education (CE) article on rheumatoid arthritis and its connection with periodontal disease. For example, the two share common pathologic, cellular, and molecular features. However, with all the clinical proof regarding the association of these two diseases, researchers are still trying to determine the biologic relationship. This article updates us on the latest theories.
In future issues of Compendium, we will continue to explore the connections between oral health and comorbidities, such as the link with diabetes mellitus, which have been shown to be bidirectional.
Our other CE explores one aspect of oral healthcare that deeply concerns us: how to handle an asthmatic attack during a dental treatment. Fear, anxiety, and inhaled allergens can incite an asthmatic episode. Knowing the preemptive actions and the strategy for swiftly addressing emergencies is necessary and even life-saving.
This month’s issue is an excellent example of the various learning opportunities that Compendium offers to its readers. I welcome your comments and suggestions: Please contact me at email@example.com. I look forward to hearing from you.
Louis F. Rose, DDS, MD
1 Korman KS, Van Dyke TE. Bringing light to the heat: inflammation and periodontal diseases: a reappraisal. J Periodontol. 2008;79(8):1313.