E. Kozarov1, C. Mendieta2

1Institute for Cardiovascular Sciences (ICCC) (SPAIN)
2Universitat de Barcelona (SPAIN)
Dental infections are the most prevalent infectious diseases in humans. They represent a significant public health problem, specifically for the elderly population. In addition, there is inequality observed between the EU member states. The dental infections cost the EU €79B yearly, therefore the represent an important subject of dentist’s education.

In addition to the generally accepted dental health programs such as water fluoridation, reduction of sugar consumption, regular check-ups, school and comunity health awareness programs, there are innovations that need further communication among dental health professionals in order to extend benefits among the patient base. To further improve quality of life, dental health education should now include the cutting-edge advancements in areas such as biofilms, replacement therapy, molecular epidemiology, genomics and metagenomics.

The consequences of poor dental health go far beyond our smile. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the most critical area in human health. Significant advances in CVD are crucial, specifically due to the increased prevalence with age, which coincide with oral health problems. Despite meaningful progress in the identification of risk factors and the development of highly effective clinical tools, myocardial infarction and stroke continue to occur in the majority of the patients.

Importantly, the epidemiological, seroepidemiological and the system biology evidence accumulated so far points at oral infections as a contributing factor for CVD. These advancements will lead to design of innovative approaches for diagnosis and treatment of not only oral infections, but also of the leading cause of death. Proper communication of the latest developments should begin with introduction of continuously updated teaching curricula in the schools of dental medicine to address not only dental health, but also the most complex problem for public health, CVD. This approach will bring dental professionals closer to family physician status and give them much more weight in communicating with patients and in achieving patient compliance.