You attend all your dental checkups on time, brush and floss your teeth regularly, and change your toothbrush when it begins to fray. Still, there is a high chance that you are not aware of the connection between your oral and overall health. Taking care of your oral health is good not only for your teeth, gums, and other areas of your oral cavity but also for your physical health.
The specific term used for oral medicine is stomatology. You may not hear or see this term being used in a dental office. This field has emerged as a dental specialty in the United States. Stomatology specialists train dentists to help them treat several health problems that may have an impact on the oral cavity and teeth.
The premier governing body of dentistry in the United States is the American Dental Association, also known as ADA. This authority determines what fields of dentistry should be regarded as specialties.
Oral medicine was added to the list of specialties in September 2020. The organization representing this specialty in the US is the American Academy of Oral Medicine (AAOM). It was founded in the 1940s as a result of an understanding emphasizing the importance of using an integrated approach to study dentistry and medicine. That also made studying the relationship between oral health and other health conditions official.
What is oral medicine?
According to the ADA, oral medicine refers to the specialty of dentistry covering the oral health care of medically complex people. It also deals with the diagnosis and management of some medically linked disorders, diseases, and conditions affecting the oral cavity and maxillofacial region.
Specialists in oral medicine have an essential responsibility in the field of dentistry. Their job includes examining patients, diagnosing their conditions, and formulating treatment plans. They also perform biopsies and consult with other medical specialists.
Diseases that affect the oral cavity
Systemic diseases, including diabetes and HIV/AIDS, can have some oral manifestations. Any dental issues resulted from these conditions have to be diagnosed and managed by oral medicine specialists. Although some conditions are not related to the oral cavity, their treatment may necessitate consistent monitoring of the mouth and oral care practices. For instance, you will need special oral care if you are undergoing cancer treatment. That is because cancer treatments can result in oral mucosal lesions and discomfort.
You may find it interesting that oral medicine also covers oral cavity conditions that aren’t yet completely understood. Those conditions may include ulcers, sores, burning tongue, movement disorders, taste disorders, and chronic pain.
The future of oral medicine
The future of oral medicine looks bright because it allows healthcare providers to work from a comprehensive viewpoint. This practice will expand on a global level. People with specific requirements will need a multi-disciplinary approach, necessitating oral medicine specialists to formulate treatment strategies.
It is pertinent to note that isolating the treatment of some health issues doesn’t work. Such issues require health experts to understand the connection between different health perspectives. For instance, health experts have found a deeper connection between oral health issues and systemic health.