Oral Fitness

 Oral Health for Healthcare Providers

Last Updated: August 08, 2018
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DA Pam 40-507, Preventive Dentistry , is a new DA PAM that has just been published.  DA PAM 40-507 is intended to accompany AR 40-35.  The updated AR 40-35, Preventive Dentistry and Dental Readiness, is still in the Army Publication Directorate pipeline and should be published after final legal review.

What is the Health Care Provider's Role in Oral Health?  All health care providers should make sure that their patients understand the importance of maintaining good oral health. Every health care provider is "on the front line" in the war against oral disease, not just dental health care providers. Research findings are confirming associations between chronic oral diseases and nutritional deficiencies, diabetes, lung diseases, cardiovascular disease, stroke, and low-birth-weight, premature births. The mouth is the window to overall health and well-being.

An ever-increasing body of literature is fleshing out the connection between oral diseases and systemic conditions such as: cardiovascular disease, stroke, and bacterial pneumonia. Poor oral health has also been shown to be associated with preterm, low birth weight, and poor glycemic control among diabetics. Learn more at the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. External Link

Oral Health Resources for Health Care Providers

MedEdPortal - Providing Online Resources to Advance Learning in Medical Education External Link
MedEdPortal is a central repository of peer-reviewed resources, graphics, tutorials, lab manuals assessment instruments, and faculty development materials, as well as an inventory of virtual patient cases. This storehouse of knowledge and tools, contributed to by faculty and students throughout the world, is available free to other educators and learners, thereby diminishing the need to duplicate valuable and expensive-to-produce resources. The portal will now include dental education resources and will begin accepting submissions from dental professionals.

Detecting Oral Cancer: A Guide for Health Care Professionals External Link National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research provides a comprehensive website with information on oral cancer, from incidence and the importance of early detection to how to do an oral cancer screening examination.

Mother's Vitamin D Status During Pregnancy Will Affect Her Baby's Dental Health External Link Low maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy may affect primary tooth calcification, leading to enamel defects, which are a risk factor for early-childhood tooth decay. During the 86th General Session of the International Association for Dental Research, investigators presented the results of a study they conducted to determine the vitamin D status of pregnant women, the incidence of enamel defects and early-childhood tooth decay among their infants, and the relationship with pre-natal vitamin D levels.

DENCOM Dental Readiness and Community Oral Health Protection Program

Because of the interdependence of general health and oral health, dentists need to focus on the entire body and well-being of the individual. This was the vision of MG Patrick Sculley, when he decreed, "‚Ķput more dental into health promotion and more health promotion into the Army Dental Care System". The DENCOM Dental Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Program has incorporated this vision.

The DENCOM Health Promotion and Disease Prevention components include:

  • Blood Pressure Screening
  • Caries Risk Assessment and Interventions
  • Family Violence
  • Fluorides
  • Mouthguard Education
  • Nutrition
  • Sealants
  • Skin, lip and oral cancer screening and counseling
  • Tobacco Risk Assessment

In order to keep providers abreast of the most current developments in oral disease prevention, the DENCOM conducts annual training for all DENTAC Dental Readiness Officers. These officers can then, in turn, disseminate the knowledge to other dental providers at their posts.

Continuing Education

Smiles for Life External Link
Smiles for Life is a comprehensive oral health curriculum for primary care clinicians developed by the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine Group on Oral Health. The seven course curriculum is designed to meet the requirements mandating education of physicians in oral health.

Pediatric Oral Health

During Pregnancy and Early Childhood External Link
New York State Department of Health website with info and Clinical Practice Guidelines 

Open Wide: Oral Health Training for Health Professionals External Link Modules designed to help health and early childhood professionals working in community settings promote oral health in the course of promoting general health for infants, children, and their families.

Pediatric Oral Health Management External Link A health professional's guide: seven modules designed to assist health professionals in managing the oral health of infants and young children.

TrainingFinder Real-time Affiliate Integrated Network (TRAIN) External Link

The National Maternal and Child Oral Health Resource Center has listed distance learning curricula with TRAIN.  The curricula are free and can be taken for a completion certificate through TRAIN. Train completion certificates may be recognized by your state; check your state's licensing requirements. Some of the curricula offer continuing education credits as noted below. Please share the availability of these free distance learning curricula with your colleagues.

IMPORTANT: To earn the completion certificate (for those ineligible for credits):
1. Register at Train.org
2. Search for a course
3. Register and read the course, but **do not** take the assessment on the curriculum site
4. Return to Train to mark the course complete in "My Learning"
5. Take the assessment on Train.

Geriatric oral health

University of Iowa Geriatric Education Center External Link Resources for educators/health professionals on geriatric oral health

Ethnogeriatrics External Link Stanford University core curriculum and ethnic specific modules

Health Communication

Gateway to Health Communication & Social Marketing Practice External Link Access many resources to help build your health communication or social marketing campaigns and programs.