Dr Atsushi Izawa of Shinshu University, Japan, is part of the Dental and Medical Collaboration for the Advanced Medical Prevention (D-CAMP) in Matsumoto, Japan, whose work is geared towards ensuring healthy longevity in Matsumoto city. The team at D-CAMP is conducting community-based research that focuses on the connection between oral and systemic health. A key research project they are working on is called ‘A community-based epidemiological survey of the relationship between oral health and the presence of systemic diseases’. This important research was prompted by earlier studies that demonstrated a link between oral health and systemic diseases. However, there are lots of unanswered questions in this area which Izawa and his team are seeking to answer. ‘There is conflicting knowledge regarding the association between oral health and systemic diseases, and the causal link has not been fully elucidated’, explains Izawa. Some of the key points the researchers are seeking to shed light on include the specifics of the association between systemic diseases and oral health and whether these associations are causal or coincidental. They are also working on discovering stronger evidence on this link so that it can potentially be included in clinical guidelines, as well as exploring whether periodontal therapy could have a positive impact on systemic diseases. D-CAMP’s work is both collaborative and community-based, and is divided into four phases. ‘We take a multi-step approach to advancing medical prevention,’ outlines Izawa. He notes that the first step is community-based research to explore the link between oral health and the presence of systemic diseases. They then progress to clinical collaboration between dentists and physicians to identify and to intervene subjects with high health risk. ‘Step three encourages participation of health professionals, including dental hygienists, nurses/public health nurses and pharmacists, to organise interprofessional teamwork, and step four entails public health education and the promotion of optimal healthcare and services.’ Their work has been well supported by Shinshu University, which has received the highest award for a university for regional contribution in Japan between 2013 and 2015.