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South African Dental Journal

versão On-line ISSN 0375-1562
versão impressa ISSN 0011-8516

S. Afr. dent. j. vol.73 no.9 Johannesburg Out. 2018




Oral manifestations of systemic disease



B Bunn

BDS, Fellowship Oral Pathology (SA), MDent. Head Clinical Unit, Oral Pathologist & Senior Lecturer, Department of Oral Pathology and Oral Biology, School of Dentistry, University of Pretoria. E-mail:




Dear Readers,

This issue sees the last of our articles for the Theme: Oral manifestations of systemic disease.

Many thanks and much appreciation are extended to all contributors in this regard.

"The more things change, the more they stay the same" may ring very true and is ever more relevant to oral healthcare workers in the setting of HIV/AIDS. Infectious disease will always remain of clinical concern.



Critically, Sub-Saharan Africa has seen the greatest resurgence of many long-forgotten infections as HIV/AIDS continue to ravage the population. Anti-retroviral medications have been miraculous in extending the longevity of HIV-infected patients.

These patients, though, remain at risk for the development of infectious diseases and infectious neoplasms whilst also being increasingly susceptible to chronic lifestyle diseases including cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Despite non-HIV-infected individuals living longer, they too have become susceptible to a range of infectious conditions as they age. This places an enormous burden on our healthcare system as well as affecting the quality of life for these patients.

The morbidity of infectious diseases has severely impacted the ability of many patients to remain economically active members of society.

The United Nations have developed several development goals in order to ensure a safer, sustainable future by increasing the quality of life for all.

Good health and wellbeing are crucial goals in this respect. The role of oral healthcare workers in the identification, diagnoses and management of diseases is thus an essential component in the realization of these goals.

We hope that this Educational Theme has assisted in raising such awareness and has inspired readers to contribute to better health and wellbeing for all patients under our care.

I would like to thank the South African Dental Association, the editor of the South African Dental Journal, as well as all of the contributors for the opportunity to encourage reflection on the burden of infectious diseases we currently face and to promote continued holistic patient care.



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