The mouth contains approximately 6 billion microbes representing 300 to 500 species of bacteria and protozoa residing in it.Transmissible and opportunistic microorganisms are responsible for dental caries, as well as periodontal disease.
Over the past decade, there is an increasing trend of scientific evidence establishing the relationship between
1. Oral infections (eg bacteria, viruses, yeasts) and systemic diseases (eg atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, pre-term low birth weight babies, and pulmonary disorders )
2. Systemic diseases (eg arthritis, diabetes mellitus, HIV, and osteoporosis ) and oral, dental and craniofacial diseases/disorders.
This is very real as the dental health professionals are seeing more and more patients who have oral manifestations of other underlying medical conditions, as well as gathering more clinical evidence pointing towards the link between oral infections and certain medical conditions. It is incorrect and untrue to treat the mouth as a separate entity from the rest of the body. The misconception stems that ?dentists only treat teeth and nothing else? ought to be corrected.
Today, we see a complex interaction of individual host’s susceptibility (genetics) to disease/infection, external exposure and lifestyle behaviors that all contribute to the onset of disease as well as how closely linked is one disease to another or more. Hence the paradigm shift in disease management today requires interdisciplinary strategies and collaboration together with scientific and technological advances.