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Year : 2002  |  Volume : 15  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 19-26

A Model for Dental Hygiene Education Concerning the Relationship between Periodontal Health and Systemic Health

Department of Allied Health and Human Services, Western Kentucky University, KY, USA

Correspondence Address:
Barbara Crafton Bush
2807 Harvest Lane, Bowling Green, KY 42104
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Purpose: To develop a format for educating the appropriate health care professionals as to the relationships between periodontal inammation and increased risks for poor diabetes control, cardiovascular disease, cerebrovascular disease, pre-term low birth weight, pneumonia and gastric ulcer reinfection. Materials & Methods: Dental hygiene students in the Advanced Periodontology curriculum were instructed to review current literature regarding the increased risk for systemic health problems when periodontal inammation is present. Abstracts of the reviewed material were then presented in group setting to all course participants. For each systemic entity (diabetes, cardio/cerebrovascular disease, adverse pregnancy outcome, pneumonia, gastric ulcer) literature-based evidence of periodontal disease's association, affect, pathogenesis, validity and clinical signi.cance was determined. Consensus statements for each entity were developed and used as a basis for clinical interpretation. Following this, patient health-history materials were developed to obtain the necessary information from patients while educating them about the increased risk for systemic health problems when periodontal inammation is present. Lastly, correspondence materials were developed to alert managing physicians and medical auxiliaries about the increased risk for systemic problems in their patients who may present with periodontal inammation. A methodology which medical personnel can use to quickly screen for the presence of periodontal inammation in at-risk patients was also developed in these correspondences. Conclusion: An educational model and clinical materials were developed which are aimed at alerting patients, dental and medical personnel to the increased risk for systemic health problems when inammatory periodontal disease is present.

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