As part of an integrated health care team, dental professionals provide daily care to more patients who have an underlying chronic disease. In fact, many chronic diseases can alter a person’s oral health status and/or present with various oral manifestations. Dental providers must maintain an up-to-date knowledge base of medical conditions that may require the dental professional to modify oral health treatment approaches and make the appropriate medical referral/consultation. The oral and overall health of the person is intertwined, e.g., diabetes and periodontal disease. As new medications are brought to market, the negative oral side effects from the medications to manage diseases and associated oral conditions are also common. When dental providers are prepared to provide safe, patient-centered, evidence-based oral health care to those with chronic diseases, the patient-provider relationship will be rewarded with increased trust and treatment outcomes that continually improve the quality of life of those we serve.
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