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Oral medicine is defined by the American Academy of Oral Medicine as:

"The specialty of dentistry concerned with the oral health of medically compromised patients and with the diagnosis and nonsurgical management of medically related disorders or conditions affecting the oral and maxillofacial region."

This definition implies that oral medicine has two distinct activities in the US:

  1. The dental management of medically compromised patients and,
  2. The diagnosis and management of a wide variety of nonsurgical conditions of the intraoral hard and soft tissues, to include facial pain, salivary gland disorders, vesiculobullous diseases, and other oral soft tissue lesions that may be either primary in origin or oral manifestations of systemic disease. Although both of these activities are described in the formal AAOM definition, we feel that the training necessary to approach a level of competence in both areas requires hospital-based training.