Dr. McGlennen: Thank you for becoming an OralDNA® provider in 2016. What was the catalyst for bringing salivary diagnostics to your patient care?
Eniko Loud DMD: I have taken courses in oral systemic health and functional medicine, then became familiar with the importance of the oral microbiome on the holobiome. The holobiome is the sum of all bacterial, fungal, viral populations that live inside and on the body – like the lung flora/biome which is secondary to the biome of the mouth and nose. What we inhale inhabits the lungs determining our susceptibility to respiratory diseases. I wanted to be able to identify high risk patients and work with their functional medicine doctors at reducing and/or eliminating oral pathogens that are often causes of “hidden inflammation.” Hidden inflammation is extremely important when speaking with patients about risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia, and Alzheimer’s.
Dr. McGlennen: There are numerous tests offered by OralDNA®. What are the top two tests you use and why?
Eniko Loud DMD: We use MyPerioPath® and OraRisk® Candida. With MyPerioPath® I can identify patterns of bacteria and connect it with the patient’s overall systemic status, create awareness in my patients about the severity of bacterial dysbiosis and ultimately ownership of their conditions in an empowering way. We can customize their periodontal care based on the results we get, customize follow up care, home care, diet, nutritional support. It is a powerful communication tool with the patients and their physicians. Patients love to see improvement in their scores. At the same time, if their scores worsen, we can intervene quickly, possibly preventing more systemic disease and even tooth loss.
Dr. McGlennen: What is your favorite part of the MyPerioPath® results? Why?
Eniko Loud DMD: I love how it shows patients the correlation of different pathogens with organ systems, it makes it easy to explain the oral whole-body connection.
Dr. McGlennen: How do your patients respond to this technology? What is their #1 question?
Eniko Loud DMD: Patients receive it really well; they are fascinated to be able to see what lives in their mouth.
Dr. McGlennen: What is your biggest challenge? How do you overcome that obstacle?
Eniko Loud DMD: The answer to almost everything, cost. We overcome their objections by involving them in the diagnosis. For example, we measure bleeding scores/plaque scores at every single dental cleaning visit and share this information with the patient. If their bleeding/plaque scores do not improve over time; we keep revisiting the importance of having a MyPerioPath® test. Stay consistent in our message. Eventually patients get it.
We never quit caring for our patient’s wellbeing. No matter how long it takes to get them to see the “light” in the importance of a sound periodontal barrier. The mouth is a portal of entry for pathogens and nutrients. Its health or disease status has long lasting effects on our longevity. Our whole team is very passionate about helping our patients live a long healthy life.
Dr. McGlennen: If a new OralDNA® provider were to ask you for advice, what would be your best tip?
Eniko Loud DMD: Just start using the test! First test yourself and your family. It will amaze you how similar pathogens are across families. You will see how lifestyle, tiny habits, correlate with bacterial profiles. It is a huge eye opener.
Dr. McGlennen: Where do you see salivary diagnostics in 3-5 years? 10 years? What would be the impact on your practice/patients?
Eniko Loud DMD: I think salivary diagnostic is the only future. We will be able to determine so much more based on the patient’s saliva, empowering us to make better diagnostic and therapeutic decisions and prevent/reverse disease progression. I think in the next few years it will be standard of care, just like an EKG is standard of care for a cardiologist.