Periodontal Medicine: Assessment of Awareness Among Medical Professionals
Background: The oral cavity might well be thought of as the window to the body as the extent of the inflammatory burden caused by periodontal disease can influence systemic diseases with a similar inflammatory pathology and vice versa, raising the relevance regarding periodontal and systemic health affecting each other. With the aim of assessing oral health knowledge and orientations of physicians, we surveyed medical interns and post-graduates about their general knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors/practices about periodontal health and disease. Method: A 15-question survey was equally distributed among the Group A (25 medical interns) and Group B (25 medical post-graduates) at a single medical college hospital. Questions aimed to assess the knowledge levels of the subjects about periodontal disease and their attitudes toward discussing/evaluating the periodontal status of their patients. Results: Overall the basic understanding about periodontal disease was limited among both the groups, 60% Group A and 84% Group B reported that they never asked patients if they were diagnosed with periodontal disease, 88% and 100% of Group A and Group B reported not receiving any training about periodontal disease during medical school, 44% Group A and 100% Group B felt that discussing/evaluating the periodontal status of their patients was peripheral to their role as physicians. Conclusion: In this study, both the groups had inadequate knowledge regarding periodontal disease. They were also generally uncomfortable with performing a simple periodontal examination. Oral health training in medical school and the medical post-graduate setting is recommended.
Dr. Megha Varghese, Dr. Shashikanth Hegde, Dr. Rajesh K.S., and Dr. Arun Kumar