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LETTER TO EDITOR Table of Contents   
Year : 2010  |  Volume : 21  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 146-147
Has specialization isolated practitioners?

1 Department of Periodontics, A B Shetty Memorial Institute of Dental Sciences, Mangalore, India
2 Department of Community Medicine, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore, India

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Date of Web Publication27-Apr-2010

How to cite this article:
Gur A, Majra J P. Has specialization isolated practitioners?. Indian J Dent Res 2010;21:146-7

How to cite this URL:
Gur A, Majra J P. Has specialization isolated practitioners?. Indian J Dent Res [serial online] 2010 [cited 2021 May 11];21:146-7. Available from:

We read the article titled 'Periodontal disease as a risk factor in pre-term low birth weight- An assessment of gynecologists' knowledge: A pilot study' with keen interest. Authors have raised a very vital issue that needs to be discussed and deliberated upon urgently. India is still among the high infant mortality rate countries. Infant deaths count for 17.9% of the total deaths in the country. [1] About 68.4% of infant deaths occur within the first month of life. [2] Low birth weight (LBW) is the single most important factor determining a child's vulnerability to the risk of childhood illness and the chances of survival. Further, in a country like India, results on birth weight should be interpreted with caution as birth weight is recorded for 34% of babies only (a low of 8% in Uttar Pradesh to a high of 97% in Kerala). Among babies with a recorded birth weight, the proportion of babies with LBW varies from a low of eight per cent in Mizoram to 33% in Haryana. [2] Two-thirds of these LBW babies in the developed countries and one-third in the developing countries are reported to be preterm LBW babies. Prematurely accounts for 51% of the infant deaths in India. [3] Under the ideal conditions of social welfare, no baby should die, except possibly the few with serious handicaps such as congenital abnormalities or disorders originating in uterine life. The causation of preterm babies is multi-factorial and estimate shows that 18.2% of all preterm low birth weights may be due to periodontal disease in the expectant mothers, which is a preventable disorder. According to National Oral Health Survey, periodontal diseases are prevalent in about 90% of adult population in India. [4] Pregnant women are at a higher risk of periodontal diseases with a three to eight-fold increased risk of preterm birth. Integration of periodontal care in the antenatal care may help to improve the scenario. Under such circumstances it a serious issue that only 60% of the specialist obstetricians are aware of the recent advances in the field and even more important is to note that more than one-third of them prefer to avoid testing their knowledge (response rate 65.5%). Further, there is a minimal desire for further information on the subject and to accept oral health as part of medical curriculum.

We also conducted a similar study 'Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Regarding the Systemic Effects of Oral Diseases among the Medical Practitioners' with similar results. [ 5] Three national journals (medical), one after the other, refused to publish the study. Specialization has indeed isolated the practitioners. One may have become the master of a part/ organ of body but body parts/organs are not islands, they are inter-related and inter-dependant on each other. There is a dire for collaborative efforts of national bodies of the dental and medical practitioners need to hold joint conventions/conferences to deliberate the issues at hand and issue guidelines for practitioners for better management of the inter-related disorders in the benefit of the patients.

   References Top

1.Government of India. Annual Report 2001-2002, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare: New Delhi; 2002.   Back to cited text no. 1      
2.International Institute for Population Sciences (IIPS) and Macro International. National Family Health Survey (NFHS-3), 2005-06: India: Vol. 1. Mumbai: IIPS; 2007.   Back to cited text no. 2      
3.WHO. Improving Maternal, Newborn and Child Health in South East Asian Region: New Delhi; 2005.   Back to cited text no. 3      
4.National Oral Health Survey: Dental Council of India, New Delhi; 2004.  Back to cited text no. 4      
5.Gur A, Majra JP. Knowledge, Attitude and Practices Regarding the Systemic Effects of Oral Diseases among the Medical Practitioners. Int J Dent Sci 2009;6. Available from:http:// [Last accessed on 2009 June 10].  Back to cited text no. 5      

Correspondence Address:
J P Majra
Department of Community Medicine, K.S. Hegde Medical Academy, Mangalore
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0970-9290.62790

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This article has been cited by
1 Awareness regarding the systemic effects of periodontal disease among medical interns in India
Gur, A., Majra, J.P.
Journal of Global Infectious Diseases. 2011; 3(2): 123-127


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