Introduction

The use of language is key to an understanding of the current state of our knowledge and thinking on the subject of oral health, especially periodontal health, and general health. While there is an increasing recognition of some relationship, the exact nature of it remains elusive. The terms link, association and relationship are often used interchangeably to provide a description that, as yet, we cannot prove to be absolute. However, there are a mounting number of indicators from research and epidemiology that periodontal disease is connected to various other general health conditions through the commonality of inflammation. It follows that whatever level of our current knowledge, helping our patients to prevent periodontal disease and providing effective treatment for diagnosed disease can do no harm either to oral or general health, and may indeed very much benefit both.