CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · European Journal of General Dentistry 2014; 3(02): 120-124
DOI: 10.4103/2278-9626.134836
Original Article

An assessment of medical doctors′ perception of possible interrelationship between oral and general health

O. I. Opeodu
Department of Periodontology and Community Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
T. J. Ogunrinde
1   Department of Restorative Dentistry, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
A. J. Fasunla
2   Department of Ear, Nose and Throat, College of Medicine, University of Ibadan, Ibadan, Nigeria
› Author Affiliations


Background: The possibility of some systemic diseases having oral manifestation is well established with the recent discovery that some oral diseases also adversely affect the general health of an individual. The question is, is the relationship casual or causal? Aim: To assess the perception of medical doctors concerning the possible link of oral diseases as causal/confounding factors of systemic diseases. Materials and Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 250 medical doctors was carried out in three tertiary health institutions in Nigeria. Questionnaires were distributed to resident doctors to assess their perception as to the possibility of any causal relationship between the general systemic diseases and oral diseases. Results: Two-hundred and seven completely filled questionnaires were returned out of the 250 distributed. Over 50% of the respondents strongly agreed to the fact that there is a link between oral diseases and conditions such as diabetes mellitus, rheumatic heart disease, valvular heart disease, and human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome HIV/AIDS. Hypertension and premature low birth weight has the highest percentage (18.8%) of respondents strongly disagreeing with the possibility of having any link with the state of the oral health. There was a statistically significant difference in the perception of the possible link between the state of oral health and myocardial infarction between male and female respondents (P < 0.04) and also when the age-groups were considered in relationship with valvular heart disease (P < 0.02). Conclusion: This study revealed that doctors′ perception of the influence of dental disease/condition on the general state of patients′ health was deficient and, therefore, require improvement through health education and awareness.

Publication History

Article published online:
01 November 2021

© 2014. European Journal of General Dentistry. This is an open access article published by Thieme under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonDerivative-NonCommercial-License, permitting copying and reproduction so long as the original work is given appropriate credit. Contents may not be used for commercial purposes, or adapted, remixed, transformed or built upon. (

Thieme Medical and Scientific Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
A-12, 2nd Floor, Sector 2, Noida-201301 UP, India

  • References

  • 1 Taylor BA, Tofler GH, Carey HM, Morel-Kopp MC, Philcox S, Carter TR, et al. Full-mouth tooth extraction lowers systemic inflammatory and thrombotic markers of cardiovascular risk. J Dent Res 2006;85:74-8.
  • 2 Joshipura KJ, Wand HC, Merchant AT, Rimm EB. Periodontal disease and biomarkers related to cardiovascular disease. J Dent Res 2004;83:151-5.
  • 3 Thoden van Velzen SK, Abraham-Inpijn L, Moorer WR. Plaque and systemic disease: A reappraisal of the focal infection concept. J Clin Periodontol 1984;11:209-20.
  • 4 Herring ME, Shah SK. Periodontal disease and control of diabetes mellitus. J Am Osteopath Assoc 2006;106:416-21.
  • 5 Pennycook A, Makower R, Brewer A, Moulton C, Crawford R. The management of dental problems presenting to an accident and emergency department. J R Soc Med 1993;86:702-3.
  • 6 de Oliveira C, Watt R, Hamer M. Toothbrushing, inflammation and risk of cardiovascular disease: Results from Scottish Health Survey. BMJ 2010;340:c2451.
  • 7 D′Aiuto F, Orlandi M, Gunsolley JC. Evidence that periodontal treatment improves biomarkers and CVD outcomes. J Periodontol 2013;84:S85-105.
  • 8 Engebretson S, Kocher T. Evidence that periodontal treatment improves diabetes outcomes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. J Periodontol 2013;84:S153-69.
  • 9 Sanz M, Kornman K. Periodontitis and adverse pregnancy outcomes: Consensus report of the joint EFP/AAP Workshop on periodontitis and Systemic Diseases. J Periodontol 2013;84:S164-9.
  • 10 D′Aiuto F, Parkar M, Andreou G, Suvan J, Brett PM, Ready D, et al. Periodontitis and systemic inflammation: Control of the local infection is associated with a reduction in serum inflammatory markers. J Dent Res 2004;83:156-60.
  • 11 Soskolne WA, Klinger A. The relationship between periodontal disease and diabetes: An overview. Ann Periodontol 2001;6:91-8.
  • 12 Reyes L, Herrera D, Kozarov E, Roldán S, Progulske-Fox A. Periodontal bacterial invasion and infection: Contribution to atherosclerotic pathology. J Periodontol 2013;84:S30-50.
  • 13 Lockhart PB, Bolger AF, Papapanou PN, Osinbowale O, Trevisan M, Levison ME, et al. American Heart Association Rheumatic Fever, Endocarditis, and Kawasaki Disease Committee of the Council on Cardiovascular Disease in the Young, Council on Epidemiology and Prevention, Council on Peripheral Vascular Disease, and Council on Clinical Cardiology. Periodontal disease and atherosclerotic vascular disease: Does the evidence support an independent association?: A scientific statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012;125:2520-44.
  • 14 Cohen LA, Manski RJ, Magder LS, Mullins CD. A medicaid population′s use of physicians′ offices for dental problems. Am J Public Health 2003;93:1297-301.
  • 15 Cohen LA. Expanding the physician′s role in addressing the oral health of adults. Am J Public Health 2013;103:408-12.
  • 16 McArdle PJ, Whitnall M. The referral practice of general medical practitioners to the surgical specialties: Implications for the future. Br J Oral Maxillofac Surg 1996;34:394-9.
  • 17 Sardella A, Demarosi F, Lodi G, Canegallo L, Rimondini L, Carrassi A. Accuracy of referrals to a specialist oral medicine unit by general medical and dental practitioners and the educational implications. J Dent Educ 2007;71:487-91.
  • 18 Azodo CC, Ehigiator O, Ehizele AO, Ololo O. Medical doctors′ knowledge of dental specialty: Implication for referral. Saratov J Med Sci Res 2010;6:140-3.
  • 19 Patel KK, Driscoll P. Dental knowledge of accident and emergency senior house officers. Emerg Med J 2002;19:539-41.
  • 20 Srinidhi S, Ingle NA, Chaly PE, Reddy C. Dental awareness and attitudes among medical practitioners in Chennai. J Oral Health Comm Dent 2011;5:73-8.