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Merritt lecture

Merritt lecture highlights the “mouth-body” connection

Merritt lectureMore than 175 students and faculty members attended the 2008 Arthur H. Merritt Memorial Lectureship on Aug. 1 to explore the connections between oral health and overall well-being.

The keynote speaker for the 37th annual Merritt Lecture was Dr. Brian L. Mealy, a professor of periodontics at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Mealy presented “The Connections Between Periodontics Health and Systemic Well-Being.” His lecture addressed how patients’ oral health can be affected by conditions such as diabetes, pregnancy, osteoporosis, cardiovascular disease and decreased immunity.

Mealy has served in many roles at the UT Health Science Center Dental School, including chair of the periodontics department. He also has served as director of the periodontics residency for the U.S. Air Force and is an adjunct associate professor at HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry. Mealy has published more than 80 articles and textbook contributions about oral health’s relationship to overall health.

The Merritt Lecture was created in 1971 in honor of Dr. Arthur H. Merritt, an early pioneer in periodontics. Merritt was a founder and past president of the American Academy of Periodontology. Although a faculty member at New York University School of Dentistry, Merritt visited HSC-Baylor College of Dentistry annually and was a strong supporter of the college.