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Periodontics: Oral Health and Wellness I. Understanding Periodontal Health, Recognizing Disease States and Choices in Treatment Strategies

Course Number: 50

Systemic Health Implications

The patient’s current systemic health also impacts the setting of periodontal health goals. Systemic conditions, infections, anomalies, trauma, etc. contribute to gingival and periodontal diseases. For example, diabetes, endocrine effects, medications, malnutrition, hematologic disorders, genetic disorders as well as other systemic considerations may affect oral health.

Finally, goals may be set for the possible benefit to systemic health that may follow improved periodontal health. For example, researchers are currently investigating the potential for an increased incidence of pre-term, low birth weight infants coinciding with increased incidence of periodontal diseases.4 Likewise the potential for a cause and effect link between periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease is under investigation. Additionally, “periodontitis has recently been associated with the higher risk of ICU admission, needed assisted ventilation, and death in COVID-19 patients, and with increased blood levels of biomarkers linked to worse disease outcomes.”26 Theoretically the systemic inflammatory response that can result in severe COVID-19 patient outcomes may be impacted by the systemic inflammation characteristic of periodontitis.