This module contains nine PowerPoint presentations and accompanying materials, and is intended to provide a self-contained, self-directed, individually-paced, interactive instructional overview of the oral health-systemic health connection, with an emphasis on inflammation, both chronic and acute, as an etiologic factor. Instruction focuses on conveying the intuitive subtlety of clinical observation from the experienced dental physician’s perspective. The authors are life-long periodontists and experienced faculty at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine. Their intent is to mentor beginning medical students in performing the oral clinical examination from the perspective of periodontal medicine and then synthesizing that oral health point-of-view with current best evidence-based knowledge regarding systemic health. This course addresses relationships between oral and systemic health so that medical students are effective in diagnosing and treating oral clinical indications of poor health. Compromised oral health may be related and contributing to poor systemic health. Concepts instructed include oral clinical indications, and symptoms and signs of gingival health (and disease), periodontal health (and disease), as well as the manifestation of systemic disease on the gingiva. Medical students, with this instruction, will be able to perform a clinically-acceptable oral examination. Students will recognize oral health as a viable component of overall systemic health. The resource is a self-directed self-paced tutorial. One obvious limitation is the absence of a live clinical instructor. The level of instruction is geared toward the adequately-prepared medical student with average laymen’s clinical aptitude, in order to provide working journeyman clinical proficiency in very basic dental medicine.
By the end of this module, the learner will be able to:
- Review the presentation and assessment of gingival health.
- Review the identification of plaque and calculus and to instruct the etiology of periodontal disease.
- Recognize and perform a physical examination confirming periodontal pocketing, as a component of periodontal disease.
- Evaluate/examine for, recognize on physical examination, and differentiate between periodontal abscess and gingival abscess.
- Understand the physical and etiologic relationships between periodontal disease and the systemic disease diabetes.
- Examine, evaluate, and assess various radiographic evidence related to the periodontium and periodontal disease.
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