This book is based largely upon a series of articles which originally appeared in Update. The purpose of the series was to give medical practitioners an insight into dental and oral disease. The diagnosis of oral disease is not a subject which receives particular emphasis in most medical curricula and it is almost com- pletely absent from many. Postgraduate courses in this field are not generally available to medical practitioners. The prevention and early detection of dental and oral disease can be a very positive contribution to the health of our patients. The dental profession sees only about half the population on a regular basis, though it has been shown that over 99 per cent of the population will suffer from oral disease at some time. This places the burden of responsibility on the shoulders of the medical practitioner. There are many diseases which originate in and are peculiar to the oral cavity. Many systemic diseases have their early visible manifestations in this area. The early detection and identification of disease and deformity of the oral cavity is an important part of diagnosis in the field of general medicine. The book is designed to present basic knowledge about the diseases found in the mouth, which will aid in their early recognition, prompt referral and treatment.
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