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Letter From Dear Doctor

Issue 30 of Dear Doctor Magazine

A Good Motto for the U.S. — and for Us!

“E Pluribus Unum” is the motto of the United States. It means “Out of Many, One.” It’s the perfect slogan for a country made up of distinct states united in a common purpose. It’s also a pretty good metaphor for the human body — and for this issue of Dear Doctor.

Like the body politic, the human body has many different components, and there are numerous medical and dental specialties devoted to caring for each one of them: The two of us, for example, are periodontists; we specialize in the gums and other supporting tissues of the teeth. Endodontists focus on the inside of teeth. Cardiologists treat heart disease, and ENTs treat ear, nose and throat problems. The list goes on and on. Yet our bodies are really only divided this way in a geographic sense; a health issue in any part of a person’s anatomy can affect their overall health as well. For example, scientific evidence has linked periodontal (gum) disease to heart problems and diabetes.

Former Surgeon General C. Everett Koop once said, “You can’t be healthy without good oral health.” He was one of the first surgeons general to acknowledge the importance of water fluoridation in protecting the nation’s health, and to tackle the HIV/AIDS epidemic that exploded during his tenure in the 1980s.

In this issue of Dear Doctor, we explore the special role of dentistry in the diagnosis and treatment of HIV/AIDs; oral manifestations of AIDs are often the first to be detected in the body. Our cover story features Dr. Travis Stork, an emergency room physician who discusses the interrelationship between oral and general health.

There are many other important topics we cover in this issue related to oral and general health: how “The Fight Against Big Tobacco” started and is now being waged; how to recognize “Children’s Dental Concerns & Injuries” and what to do about them; plus, how “Sleeping in Dentures” can cause health problems that go beyond the mouth.

More and more over the past years, we have discussed the role and overlap between oral and general health, and how they impact each other. But then again, why wouldn’t they? Throughout the pages of Dear Doctor, we strive to put all the pieces together in service of your dental, oral and general health and well-being.

Though we specialists are many, our goal is one: your complete health.


Mario A.Vilardi, DMD

Garry A.Rayant, BDS, DDS, LDSRCS, MS