Oral medicine (stomatology) is a recognized and increasingly important dental specialty in many parts of the world that recognizes and fosters the interplay between medical health and oral health. Its dental activities rely greatly on the underlying biology of disease and evidence-based outcomes.
However, full recognition of the importance of oral medicine to patient care, research, and education is not yet totally universally acknowledged. To address these shortcomings, we outline the birth, growth, and future of oral medicine globally, and record identifiable past contributions to the development of the specialty, providing an accurate, unique, and valuable resource on oral medicine. Although it was challenging to gather the data, we present this information as a review that endeavors to summarize the salient points about oral medicine, based on MEDLINE, other internet searches, communication with oral medicine and stomatological societies across the world, the web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_dental_organizations, and discussions with a wide range of key senior persons in the specialty.