Here’s the Key to Explaining the Oral-Systemic Link

Do you know the difference between
major surgery and minor surgery?

That’s the start of a joke that a friend of mine once shared with me. Do you know the answer?

Well, my friend said, it’s major surgery if it is happening to you. It’s minor surgery if it’s happening to someone else.

Isn’t that true about how we view life? When something happens to us, we pay a lot more attention to it than when it is happening across town or across the globe. That’s what dental practices have to start thinking about when it comes to the oral-systemic connection.

It’s about knowing the medical history of the patient and how their oral health impacts that. If heart disease runs in my family, I’m going to care a lot more about those statistics than I will about smoking (which does not run in my family at all).

Let me share some thoughts with you along this path in the video below.

Note: “Sarah Stambaugh – teeth” by Mike Burns is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Kevin Henry

Kevin Henry

With more than 20 years in the dental publishing industry, Kevin Henry is the former group editorial director for Dental Products Report, managing editor for Dental Economics, and editor-in-chief for He now serves as the co-founder for IgniteDA, a community designed to empower, enlighten, and educate dental assistants, and as director of marketing for Fortune Management. He has spoken to dental assistants throughout the world, in person and through the Dental Assistant Nation podcast series, reminding them of the important role they play every day in their practice. He is also certified as a DiSC trainer, helping dental practices learn how to understand each other better through personality assessments and training.