Systemic links between periodontal health and overall health: The importance of patient education in the dental field

47.2% of adults aged 30 years and older have some form of periodontal disease. Periodontal Disease increases with age, 70.1% of adults 65 years and older have periodontal disease.1

Educating our patients on oral health and the negative effect of periodontal disease will help encourage overall oral health. In this, we mean ensuring patients understand what is really going on in their mouth and if left untreated, the risk to the rest of the body. Studies are showing that there is a systemic link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease, diabetes and preterm low weight babies.  Periodontal disease also leads to gum loss, bone loss and eventually tooth loss. By having your patient acknowledge this bacterial infection, they will be more open to pre-surgical treatment options, such as Arestin.

In 2014, OraPharma (manufacturer of Arestin) conducted a survey based on 300 adult patients who required a routine dental appointment within the preceding 9 months, and the findings focused on those who had received a new diagnosis (other than caries) during that visit. The objective of this survey was to understand the impact of consistent communication between dental professionals and patients and the understanding of their new diagnoses and acceptance of treatment recommendations.The key message is to help doctors in increasing acceptance of exact treatment recommendations in practice

If the patient receives a new diagnosis, the professional should consider using consistent language and terminology in delivering that diagnosis. Ensure that all dental staff members understand the treatment plan recommended for the patient’s newly diagnosed issue, so there’s additional consistency in continuing communications.

Finally, it is important continue to educate patients about periodontal disease and the fact that it is a chronic, active infection. Allow enough time after the examination for patients to engage in open dialogue with dental staff members.

To download the entire study, click here:

Arestin HANSAmed

Eke PI, Dye B, Wei L, Thornton-Evans G, Genco R. Prevalence of Periodontitis in Adults in the United States: 2009 and 2010. J Dent Res. Published online 30 August 2012:1–7.

Data on file. OraPharma, Inc. Market research: interactions with dental professionals. Prepared by Lightspeed, LLC. May 2014.

Data on file. OraPharma, Inc. Market research: trends among consumers with periodontal disease. Prepared by Lightspeed, LLC. April 2013.