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Oral and systemic health

Author
Paul S Casamassimo, DDS, MS
Section Editor
Ann Griffen, DDS, MS
Deputy Editor
Mary M Torchia, MD

INTRODUCTION

Oral and systemic health are closely related. Abnormalities in the oral cavity can affect the systemic health, growth, and development of children. Likewise, systemic conditions or their treatments can affect the oral cavity or the feasibility of delivering dental care.

The oral conditions that affect systemic health and the systemic conditions that affect oral health and/or the delivery of dental treatment are reviewed here. The oral manifestations of systemic, genetic, or infectious disease are described in the topic reviews for those conditions. (See appropriate topic reviews).

ORAL CONDITIONS THAT AFFECT SYSTEMIC HEALTH

The oral cavity plays an important role in nutrition, speech, and facial appearance. Each of these functions may be affected by abnormalities in the oral cavity.

Children with cleft lip and palate, for example, have difficulty feeding, require speech therapy, and are at increased risk for otitis media. In addition, they are at risk for long-term psychosocial effects. Ninety-six young adults who were born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate were assessed in a follow-up study [1]. Up to one-third of them experienced psychosocial maladjustment, with a high rate of persistent dissatisfaction with appearance, hearing, speech, teeth, and social life.

Dental caries is the most common oral condition that affects systemic health and nutritional status. Moderate or severe caries, particularly in young children, may affect growth and development. In a matched, case-control study, the weights of 115 children who underwent anesthesia or sedation for treatment of nursing caries were compared with the weights of children without gross caries [2]. Case children were more likely than were controls to have weights that were less than 80 percent of their ideal body weight (8.7 versus 1.7 percent).

        

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Mon Aug 31 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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