Indian Journal of Dental Research

: 2022  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 115-

Non-communicable diseases and oral health

SM Balaji 
 Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India

Correspondence Address:
S M Balaji
Executive Editor, Indian Journal of Dental Research, Director and Consultant Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Balaji Dental and Craniofacial Hospital, Teynampet, Chennai, Tamil Nadu

How to cite this article:
Balaji S M. Non-communicable diseases and oral health.Indian J Dent Res 2022;33:115-115

How to cite this URL:
Balaji S M. Non-communicable diseases and oral health. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2022 [cited 2022 Nov 30 ];33:115-115
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Full Text

A recent editorial in JDR by F. Lobbezoo and G. Aarab, titled “Medicine and Dentistry Working Side by Side to Improve Global Health Equity”, is a polite reminder of IJDR's long-standing, repeated reminders about the role of dentistry in overall health and why medical and dental fraternity need to work in tandem for promoting better health.[1],[2] The renewed call indicates and calls for “aforementioned connections between poor oral health and general health conditions require an adequate level of essential, evidence-based, and bidirectional expertise and skill sharing between medical doctors and dentists.” This bi-directional approach, physicians reaching dentists and vice versa, has been rather informal all these years, and mutual references are increasing by placing patient health over other differences.[1] This is a welcome change.

With the rise of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), the oral health takes a backseat.[3] In addition, NCDs and oral health share identical and overlapping risk factors, socio-economic determinants, detrimental risk behaviors in the likes of tobacco use, excess sugar consumption, poor hygiene, non-compliance to medical instruction, and so on.[1] There is voluminous, recent evidence emerging that correlates compromised oral health with systemic conditions such as respiratory diseases, sleep-related breathing disorders, and even cognitive decline. Recognising and to highlight the developing evidence, World Health Organization also called for strengthening the “cross-sectoral collaboration between general and oral health”.[4]

With Asia-Pacific taking a huge burden of the problem of NCDs, the disparity precipitated by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), and its effect on the fragile health ecosystem in this part of the world, the oral health inequity is bound to be widened.[5]

In the post-COVID-19 world, we are at a phase of re-inventing of existing health care delivery systems. This nature-induced disruption provides ample opportunity to dentists and medical professionals to align and share the commonalties in terms of record creation, physical examinations, protocols, screening procedures, and even treatment approaches. More research has to be invested in this direction. In this process, creation of mutual and shared trust is more important than ever. The world has to rise to the occasion to create a better medical and mutually inclusive health ecosystem.


1Lobbezoo F, Aarab G. Medicine and dentistry working side by side to improve global health equity. J Dent Res 2022;101:1133-4.
2Cohen LK, Dahlen G, Escobar A, Fejerskov O, Johnson NW, Manji F. Why a radical overhaul of dentistry is needed. Indian J Dent Res 2017;28:471-4.
3Balaji SM. Noncommunicable diseases and dental diseases. Indian J Dent Res 2018;29:699.
4World Health Organization (WHO). Oral health. Seventy-Fourth World Health Assembly (WHA74.5), Agenda item 13.2, 31 May 2021. Available from: [Last accessed on 2022 Sep 07].
5Balaji SM, Seeberger GK, Hennedige O. Burden of oral diseases and noncommunicable diseases: An asia-pacific perspective. Indian J Dent Res 2018;29:820-9.