What do physicians and dentists have in common? More than many of us realize.
Though our paths diverged along the way, we all went through rigorous training to become experts in our fields, and our patients look to us to keep them healthy and pain-free. And there’s quite a bit of overlap among our patients. The fact is, we’re all on the same team!
So why don’t we work more closely together? Why don’t we communicate as much as we should? All your patients have mouths, and all ours have hearts, lungs, kidneys, and other organs. And all of it is connected through the bloodstream.
What happens in one part of the body often affects another part. Yet when it comes to the mouth, which aside from an open wound is the biggest polluter of the bloodstream, many doctors are content to leave it for the dentist to deal with. More concerningly, they’re not always looking in the mouth for clues to problems elsewhere in the body.
This website is part of a larger effort to connect those dots, and to close the “deadly gap” that often exists between doctors and dentists. Hundreds of studies in the last 10 to 20 years have linked problems in the mouth – infections, gum disease, obstructions, etc. – to heart disease, diabetes, stroke, Alzheimer’s, pregnancy problems, arthritis, sleep disorders, and other serious conditions.
We have two goals here: education and communication.
Education: On this page you’ll find links to dozens of studies, stories and videos about oral-systemic health. We’re not making this stuff up! You learn even more by visiting our sister site, YourFilthyMouth.com, where you can listen to a weekly podcast and read our blog.
Communication: Let’s start talking! Contact your patient’s dentist and ask about their oral health. Find out if they have been or are being treated for any infections or other problems that could spread throughout the body. Download this form to use to request information.
If your patient says he or she hasn’t been to the dentist in more than a year or two, strongly encourage them to get a checkup. Physicians regularly recommend patients to have their “back door” checked with a colonoscopy so they can evaluate the health of the colon and check for cancer. But what about the “front door,” or the mouth?
Physicians and dentists both have important roles in the health and well-being of our patients. Imagine how much they’ll benefit when we work together.