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How can dentists help improve overall health?

The connection between oral health and overall health underscores the importance of thorough brushing and flossing of teeth as well as making regular visits to the dentist, David Wong, D.M.D., D.M.Sc., professor and associate dean of research at the UCLA School of Dentistry, says. But beyond that, since adults tend to visit a dentist’s office more frequently than a physician’s office, there is a movement to expand the role of the dentist to include routine blood pressure measurements to detect cardiovascular abnormalities, as well as glucose monitoring for individuals at risk for diabetes. “One-fourth of people with diabetes are not diagnosed, and there are more than 20 million people who are prediabetic,” Dr. Wong notes. “Dentists can be a major contributor as a partner with the medical community in conducting screenings and evaluations for diabetes and a number of other life-threatening diseases.”

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.