Oral diseases affect more than 3.9 billion people worldwide, yet it is an area of health care that is often excluded. Oral health is an absolutely integral part of general health, and growing evidence shows that it does, affect people’s well-being. Oral health has been historically separated from general health in many ways, including by divided care delivery systems, separate insurance systems and compartmentalisation of oral health within medical and dental curricula.

Most oral diseases and systemic chronic diseases share common risk factors such as tobacco use, diet, alcohol, hygiene, and stress. Likewise, oral symptoms often act as a marker for systemic conditions. With the growing evidence of the impacts of oral health complications and other systemic diseases, it is important to ensure oral health is integrated in the general health care service. .

General health professionals must be aware of the signs and symptoms of poor oral health that may easily disrupt the general health care of their patients. This course will impart the essential leadership skills and oral health knowledge necessary to improve your effectiveness as a health professional, develop your understanding of key oral health components and successfully integrate the two areas into your daily practice.

This programme is intended as guidance for you when dealing with patients who may have oral health conditions. It is important for you to be aware of the causes and consequences of poor oral health, how to prevent it and what to look out for in your patients. If you are unsure, you must always refer immediately to a dental practitioner. It is not the intention of this guide to expect you to be able to diagnose or treat oral disease.