If dentists were able to test periodontal patients for a key marker of inflammation, lives could potentially be saved, a dentist is claiming.
Dr Ronald Schefdore told Dental Economics that he would like to make a blood test - which has already been approved by the Food and Drug Administration - a regular part of a dental checkup.
He says that because gum disease is so often a warning of more serious health problems such as diabetes and heart disease, it makes sense to have dentists administer the tests.
The FDA-approved tests Dr Schefdore is talking about measure an individual's C-reactive protein, which indicates whether inflammation is present. Inflammation is a response by the body's immune system that may indicate disease.
"It's quick and easy and helps speed the diagnosis and proper steps towards treatment," he told the news provider.
"If patients, physicians and dentists would work together it would be better health for Americans almost overnight."
Poor dental health has been linked to a number of health problems, including stroke and cardiovascular disease. Dentists and doctors alike recommend that people have regular dental checkups to maintain their wellbeing.
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