Well researched, evidence based findings by numerous medical and dental organizations have established the ‘oral systemic’ correlation, which necessitates that the treatment from dentistry/dental hygiene is a critical component to overall health. In particular, it is been determined that oral inflammation from periodontal disease (gum disease) will affect certain organs and medical conditions (heart disease, stroke, diabetes, premature babies and respiratory conditions). Patients need to be aware and be asking their dentists/dental hygienists about the presence of periodontal disease and the ‘activity level’ of periodontal disease. Times are changing and patients need to be aware! It is not ‘just a cleaning’ in the dental office, rather patients want to be examined for periodontal disease, which is one of the most common diseases known worldwide. Dental hygienists are able and capable of determining periodontal health but need to be executing certain procedures: probing, quality and quantity of xrays, periodontal exams, scaling/root planing, antimicrobial agents. Patients need to be looking at their dental hygienists as key contributors to their overall health as it is the dental hygienists that remove harmful biofilm (bacteria laden substance) on teeth that contribute to inflammation, which affects overall health. Next time you are at your dental office, ask if you have ‘periodontal disease’ – you want to know!