Original Publication
Open Access

Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: Module 3. Adult Oral Health

Published: July 27, 2012 | 10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9204

Included in this publication:

  • BOHC Toolkit.pdf
  • Smiles for Life Module 3 Adult Oral Health.ppt
  • Smiles for Life Module 3 Instructor's Guide.doc
  • Smiles for Life Module 3 Speakers Notes.pdf

To view all publication components, extract (i.e., unzip) them from the downloaded .zip file.

Editor's Note: This publication predates our implementation of the Educational Summary Report in 2016 and thus displays a different format than newer publications.


This resource addresses how adult oral health is impacted by factors such as disease, aging, medication, and substance use. Clinicians review risk factors and etiologies of oral conditions, as well as appropriate treatment and referral procedures. Additionally, this module addresses how to effectively promote oral disease prevention, coordinate dental care for patients requiring antibiotic prophylaxis, and collaboratively manage anticoagulation in patients undergoing oral procedures. This resource is designed as an interactive educational tool for both individuals and groups from all aspects of the health care profession. It is a part of the series Smiles for Life: A National Oral Health Curriculum, the nation’s most comprehensive and widely used oral health curriculum designed for primary care clinicians. The eight-module course covers the relationship of oral to systemic health, child oral health, adult oral health, dental emergencies, oral health in pregnancy, fluoride varnish, and the oral examination.

Educational Objectives

By the end of this resource, learners will be able to:

  1. Recognize adult caries and periodontal disease.
  2. Understand the oral effects of common medications, alcohol, and tobacco.
  3. Identify factors, including chronic medical conditions, that influence oral health.
  4. Identify tooth changes with aging.
  5. Discuss oral health promotion.
  6. List indications for antibiotic prophylaxis for dental procedures.
  7. Understand management of dental procedures in anticoagulated patients.
  8. Identify common oral lesions.
  9. Describe management and appropriate referral.

Author Information

  • Wanda Gonsalves: Medical University of South Carolina College of Medicine
  • Alan Douglass: Middlesex Hospital
  • A. Stevens Wrightson: University of Kentucky College of Medicine
  • Melinda Clark: Albany Medical Center
  • Mark Deutchman: University of Colorado
  • Joanna Douglass: University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine
  • Russell Maier: Central Washington Family Medicine Residency Program
  • Rocio Quinonez: Schools of Dentistry and Medicine, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Hugh Silk: University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • James Tysinger: University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

None to report.

Development of the Smiles for Life curriculum was supported by unrestricted grants from the National Interprofessional Initiative on Oral Health (NIIOH), which in turn was funded by the Dentaquest Foundation, Washington Dental Service Foundation, and Connecticut Health Foundation. This project is also sponsored in part by funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration/Maternal Child Health Bureau grant #U44MC20223.


Gonsalves W, Douglass A, Wrightson A, et al. Smiles for Life National Oral Health Curriculum: module 3. Adult oral health. MedEdPORTAL. 2012;8:9204. https://doi.org/10.15766/mep_2374-8265.9204

This publication is co-sponsored by the American Dental Education Association.