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New Tool Aims to Combat Oral-Systemic Diseases

New Tool Aims to Combat Oral Systemic Diseases A team of researchers at New York University College of Nursing’s Teaching Oral Systemic Health (TOSH) Program has developed a replacement for medicine’s traditional head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat (HEENT) examination

New Tool Aims to Combat Oral-Systemic Diseases

A team of researchers at New York University College of Nursing’s Teaching Oral-Systemic Health (TOSH) program has developed a replacement for medicine’s traditional head, ears, eyes, nose, and throat (HEENT) examination that includes the teeth, gums, mucosa, tongue, and palate for assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of oral-systemic health. Implementing the head, ears, eyes, nose, oral cavity, and throat (HEENOT) examination, the team suggests, broadens the scope of the test and increases interprofessional communication. With the inclusion of an oral cavity assessment, the HEENOT exam can be used to screen for early childhood caries and detect oral cancer and other oral abnormalities that may be caused by cancer, diabetes, or chronic health problems.

The researchers published their paper, “Putting the Mouth Back in the Head: HEENT to HEENOT,” in January’s American Journal of Public Health. If adopted, oral health would be included on health history and physical examinations performed by medical professionals. “The integration of the HEENOT approach in primary care is a simple and effective method to decrease oral health disparities by increasing interprofessional oral health workforce capacity,” said Erin Hartnett, DNP, APRN-BC, CPNP, TOSH program director. “The TOSH program, using the HEENOT approach, develops nurse practitioners’, midwives’, and medical students’ oral health knowledge and clinical skills to identify oral problems, educate patients about the links between oral health and their overall health, and refer patients to dental providers.”

Hygiene Connection E-Newsletter

February 2015

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