Inflammation is Key!

It is now widely accepted and confirmed through research that there is an oral-systemic connection. The link between oral infection and certain systemic diseases has taken center stage, and inflammation is the key!

Dental plaque/biofilm formation added to the inflammatory process can lead to periodontitis, peri-implantitis or other oral infections. It can reach an acute phase, initiating the inflammation cascade. Once inflammation is initiated around a natural tooth or an implant, tissue can be lost, leading to bone loss. For implants, which are held in by bone with a soft tissue interface, biofilm is a major risk factor.

My new textbook, Peri-Implant Therapy for the Dental Hygienist: Second Edition, goes into more depth on risk factors, cardiac reactive proteins (CRPs), vitamin D, and lists the chair-side tests for risk factor screening in Chapter 2. Also available for dental professionals is information on what some would call the ‘new blood test,’ a salivary diagnostic test available from labs such as OralDNA® that provides patients with more knowledge about their individual risk factors.

OralDNA® Labs provides bacterial, genetic, and viral testing. Celsus One™, a genetic test, identifies genotypes at certain gene markers that are predictive of inflammation. Celsus One inflammatory genetic risk assessment test reports on innate and acquired immunity genotypes and identifies if the patient has low, intermediate, or high risk inflammation response. If you see active tissue/bone loss and inflammation, you can educate the patient and make suggestions on blood testing for CRP levels, and evaluation for vitamin D levels, especially before a surgical procedure such as extraction(s), periodontal treatment, or implant placement.

It is an exciting time to be in dentistry with increasing testing availability for overall health of our patients. Dental professionals can more readily expand their knowledge base to learn about testing, regeneration, and implant therapy; thereby, providing patients with all that is available for oral and optimal total body health.

Peri-Implant Therapy for the Dental Hygienist: Second Edition is an essential reference for any dental professional seeking a one-stop resource for maintaining dental implants and managing their complications. A companion website is available with curriculum for dental hygiene and dental school student programs. Available on Amazon or Wiley.

Susan Wingrove RDH, BS
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