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Increasing evidence points to periodontal disease as a significant risk factor in the etiology of other diseases with inflammatory components, such as cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes mellitus. Thus, it may be possible to reduce the risk for other diseases with an inflammatory component by maintaining a healthy periodontium. In addition to plaque and calculus, other factors such as diet, body weight, lifestyle, and environmental stress complicate the maintenance of a healthy periodontium. It is becoming more important for the general dentist to address these additional risk factors in addition to providing conventional treatment for periodontal disease. This review addresses a multifactorial approach to the treatment of periodontal disease and suggests that the “focal theory” of infection may still be relevant for oral inflammation.