Why I Teach Salivary Testing as a Dental Hygiene Instructor

  I am a dental hygienist and have spent most of my career in a periodontal practice. Most recently I split my time at Dr. Steven Peiser’s office and serve as a faculty member at Goodwin College in Connecticut teaching Oral Pathology to dental hygiene students. It has been so exciting to teach this course and share my knowledge and experience.  Specifically, I most enjoy teaching about the relationship of pathogenic bacteria to the oral-systemic link which is crucial to understand wh...
More

How do you speak Metabolic Health/Diabetes and Periodontal Disease to Your Patients?

Dr McGlennen: Many resources confirm a bi-directional relationship between periodontal disease and Type II diabetes; which in simple terms means if you have one, you will most likely have the other. Elevated levels of periodontal bacteria can directly cause hyperglycemia.1 Long term, the inflammation associated with increased pathogen burden can affect the health of the pancreas. Specifically, there is the risk of the loss of beta cells that produce insulin and respond to elevated blood gluc...
More

Finding the Root Cause of Disease – It’s All Connected

  The mouth is, and forever will be, part of the body. The traditional medical model is treating symptoms and body parts in isolation. A new approach called functional medicine is emerging. Functional medicine pioneers such as Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Mike Roisen, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Amy Doneen, Dr. Brad Bale, and a host of others, are leading the charge. They do not ask questions like “What do we have?” but rather “Why do we have it?” They understand that body parts and o...
More

Interview with Ben Mendoza, RDH

Dr. McGlennen: Please tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics in your practice. Ben Mendoza RDH: OralDNA® salivary diagnostics is the most applicable tool we use at Dr. Katherine Brown’s practice in order to guide our patients toward optimal oral care as well as total health well-being. We use this testing to help identify, confirm, and convey both the risk and presence of bacterial pathogens that increase patients’ potential for tooth decay and gum disease, as well as any negat...
More

Microbiology Terminology

MyPerioPath® is a laboratory test that screens saliva for specific bacteria known to cause periodontal disease. Bacteria are often described using their scientific name, by categorizing as gram-negative or gram-positive, and by identifying their shape. These descriptors provide us with useful information about each bacteria.  For example, it is plausible that motile bacteria are more resistant to localized treatment due to their ability to move away from areas where the environment does not ...
More

Interview with Functional Medicine Leader, Pete Williams

  Dr McGlennen: You started incorporating OralDNA® testing services into your care over a year ago in Spring 2018. Tell me how you were introduced to OralDNA® salivary diagnostics and why do you use the testing services. Pete Williams: We first became aware of the OralDNA® testing services at a Functional Medicine conference in the US. As a Functional Medicine practice, we are aware of how oral health can have a systemic effect on chronic disease and its management. We have been f...
More

Periodontal Disease, Perio Pathogens & Rocket Science

Risk factors for heart attack include; age, tobacco, high blood pressure, lipid profile, diabetes, family history of heart attack, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress, illicit drug use, history of preeclampsia, history of autoimmune condition such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and so on and so on. Why have all these risk factors been identified? Because it is better to prevent a heart attack than it is to have one. Risk factor identification and modification is the cornerstone of p...
More

What is the Therapeutic Threshold?

In a previous blog, Salivary Diagnostics—Your Molecular X-ray, I introduced the concept of using salivary diagnostics to provide objective understanding to the clinical signs observed with periodontal disease. Once a saliva specimen is analyzed and the results released, the clinician must correlate the lab results to the clinical signs, and decide the next steps for treatment. One feature of the MyPerioPath® test report is the “Therapeutic Thresholds”, displayed as black lines overlying the ...
More

A Periodontist’s Nonsurgical Approach to Periodontal Disease: Part 2

Last week I wrote on how MyPerioPath® testing impacts patient diagnosis. Now I will address another aspect of the report, the systemic antibiotic option. There are some “purists” out there who say they don’t need antibiotics, and that they only need clinical evaluation to treat a periodontal infection. I can’t see the bacteria. I don’t know the involvement or virulence of these pathogens. While I strongly believe that antibiotics are overused in health care, when there is a true infection of...
More

A Periodontist’s Nonsurgical Approach to Periodontal Disease: Part 1

I am a periodontist who has been using OralDNA® testing to determine periodontal pathogens for many years. Our practice consists of two periodontists and a restorative dentist. Most of our patients have major dental needs such as implants, bone grafts, and restorative needs, as well as a large population with chronic periodontitis. Philosophically, I believe that saving teeth is the role of a periodontist. Too many teeth are being extracted that can be saved in health for many years. There a...
More