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July 24/31, 2018

The Importance of Oral Health in Comprehensive Health Care

Author Affiliations
  • 1National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland
JAMA. 2018;320(4):339-340. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.19777

The importance of oral health as a component of comprehensive health has received well-deserved national attention.1 A healthy and pain-free mouth supports good nutrition and the ability to sleep and focus at school or work. The physician needs only a medical pen light, tongue blade, and gauze to conduct a concise oral examination that can be instrumental in helping patients to maintain their overall health (see video produced by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research).2 A 5-minute oral examination could help physicians not only recognize poor oral health but also detect clues to seemingly unrelated health issues.

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