Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology

: 2021  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 1--2

Integrating oral health and medical care

Deepak Gupta 
 Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.M. College of Dental Sciences and Research, M.M. (Deemed to be University), Ambala, Haryana, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Deepak Gupta
Associate Professor, Department of Oral Medicine and Radiology, M.M. College of Dental Sciences and Research, M.M. (Deemed to be University), Mullana, Ambala, Haryana

How to cite this article:
Gupta D. Integrating oral health and medical care.J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol 2021;33:1-2

How to cite this URL:
Gupta D. Integrating oral health and medical care. J Indian Acad Oral Med Radiol [serial online] 2021 [cited 2021 Aug 5 ];33:1-2
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I would like to acknowledge Dr. Dipti Bhatnagar, Editor in Chief of the Journal of Indian Academy of Oral Medicine and Radiology (JIAOMR) for giving me this opportunity to write an editorial for the Journal. It is her vision, hard work, and dedication, which has yielded fruitful results in the form of recognition of the journal by international databases like SCOPUS and now Web of Science. It's indeed a great honour to serve the journal and share my views with you in the form of an Editorial.

We cannot deny the fact that Oral Health is crucial for overall health of an individual.[1] Literature is flooded with information pertinent to correlation of oral health with general health. This advocates for the phrase “Oral cavity is the mirror of the body”.We as Oral Medicine and Radiology specialists understand the actual crux of it. However there is a lag in integration of Oral Health with Medical Care.

In my opinion, this can be attributed primarily to the fact that most of the medical practitioners do not consider referring their patients to an oral physician. Secondly, the Medical practitioners fail to understand the fact that we are equipped with pertinent knowledge and possess the capability to suspect systemic diseases while examination of the oral and maxillofacial region.

Our biggest concern is because almost all the systemic diseases have links with the Oral health and most of the time the first sign or symptom of the disease is seen in the oral cavity. So the need of the hour is to emphasize the correlation between oral health and overall health.

Oral physicians thus play a major role in early diagnosis of the diseases and improve the prognosis. It's a known fact that systemic diseases have oral manifestations.[1],[2],[3] For example, AIDS, diabetes mellitus, and anaemia, to name a few.[2],[3] It is also well documented that Oral Health can affect the treatment of systemic diseases. For example, the treatment of solid organ transplants; cancer chemotherapy; osteoradionecrosis and certain medications is affected due to poor oral health. As Oral Physicians we need to highlight the fact that oral disease can increase risk for systemic disease. The evidence for this is the correlation of periodontal disease in diabetics, cardiovascular disease, and hormonal changes in pregnancy to name a few.[2],[3] It is of prime importance to identify the association between systemic disease and their oral findings and to create an awareness among the fellow medical practitioners.

Let us focus on one of the most common systemic disease that prevails in India i.e. Diabetes.[2] It is of interest to know that India is considered as the diabetic capital of the world and a person having diabetes has greater chances of having periodontal diseases. Here Oral Physicans come into role as it is difficult for a person having periodontitis to control his/her blood sugar as compared to a diabetic person with good oral hygiene. So pertinent referral of a diabetic patient is a must by the medical practitioner. This not only enables the patient to maintain oral health but also maintains their glycemic control in an efficient way.

Hence I would like to state that every diabetic patient should be screened for periodontal disease, which is only possible when there is adequate referral from the medical professionals.

Thus to conclude there is a dire need to create an awareness among the medical professionals regarding the common oral diseases which can affect the general health. Poor oral health can also lead to reduced quality of life.[4]

Henceforth, oral health disparities should be addressed in a more robust way with national level recommendations emphasizing oral health issues.


1Malecki K, Wisk LE, Walsh M, McWilliams C, Eggers S, Olson M. Oral health equity and unmet dental care needs in a population-based sample: Findings from the survey of the health of Wisconsin. Am J Public Health 2015;105(Suppl 3):S466-74.
2Lee PH, McGrath CPJ, Kong AYC, Lam TH. Self-report poor oral health and chronic diseases: The Hong Kong FAMILY project. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2013;41:451-8.
3VanWormer JJ, Acharya A, Greenlee RT, Nieto FJ. Oral hygiene and cardiometabolic disease risk in the survey of the health of Wisconsin. Community Dent Oral Epidemiol 2013;41:374-84.
4Brennan DS, Spencer AJ, Roberts-Thomson KF. Tooth loss, chewing ability and quality of life. Qual Life Res 2008;17:227-35.