Doctors have role in oral health: expert

There is a huge burden of disease associated with oral health and more could be done to improve health outcomes through a better partnership with dentists, Dr Lesley Russell (PhD), senior research fellow at the Australian National University, wrote.

“At the very least this should entail some shared training, recognition that dental services are an integral part of primary care, inclusion of dental information on personally controlled electronic health records, and professional courtesies around patient referrals,” she wrote.

“Primary care doctors, nurses and allied health professionals need training and skills in oral health screening, providing oral hygiene advice and emergency pain management.”

The impacts of poor oral health are not limited to the realm of dentists, with links found to infective carditis, coronary heart disease, stroke, adverse pregnancy outcomes and aspiration pneumonia — not to mention the social