How Do You Speak Testing? with Judith Nwagwu RDH

Patient Bio: Your female patient, age 63, struggles as she enters the operatory. You have been seeing her for 4 years. Her wheezing and appearance of being out of breath are due to her new diagnosis of COPD. She is recently widowed.

How would you introduce therapy including Alert 2™ testing to this patient?  Welcome to our office where we are big advocates of the Mouth Body Connection™. We are not just here for your teeth and gums, but also your overall health and wellness. We would love to help you improve your oral health in order to help improve the symptoms associated with your COPD. We will first start with a diagnostic salivary test that will allow us to see what types of bacteria exist in your saliva. (We show the patient our sample booklet of current patient before/after results). These test results will allow us to better manage you and allow us to come up with a customized treatment plan for you. Together, we will measure your gums, check for bleeding and look at your x-rays to determine the best treatment necessary for you to get healthier. There are many studies that show taking care of your teeth and gums can really help you live well longer.

How would you discuss these results with your patient?
This is why we took this test; the results show that you have a HIGH genetic marker for inflammatory conditions in your body. Your test results also determined that you have 3 high risk bacteria, all 5 moderate risk bacteria, and 2 lower risk bacteria present. One of your moderate risk bacteria is above the reference line, which indicates that it may currently be affecting your body negatively. The presence of all these pathogens is affecting the way your body is able to take care of you. We want to help lower the number of bacteria by doing a series of gum therapy treatments to include SRPs, irrigation, laser, local antibiotics followed along by a 6-week assessment with our periodontist. The inflammation in your mouth can have a profound effect on the health of your body.

Following your therapy and the period of time needed for the patient to heal, there is a re-test with these results. How would you discuss these results with your patient?Great news, after completing the recommended treatment based on your initial test results, we have been able to reduce below detection 1 high risk pathogen, 4 moderate pathogens, and 1 low risk pathogen and lowered your overall bacterial load. Now that we’ve seen how well you’ve responded to this treatment, we will continue to monitor your progress with periodic saliva retests, and quarterly laser cleanings with local antibiotics when needed. We’re excited to continue to help aid your body in fighting inflammatory responses and keeping your overall health better.

Judith Nwagwu RDH
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