Life & Death and a Saliva Test

Sometimes I get so frustrated with the profession of dentistry. Here is my case in point: Five oral originating pathogens have been identified as causative in the development of atherosclerosis by the BaleDoneen™ peer reviewed study published in the British Medical Journal. Wait a minute, so they concluded that these oral bacteria are causative of atherosclerosis? Seriously? Yes!! And in the last one hundred years, atherosclerosis has killed more Americans than any other disease. Atheroscler...
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Simple Strategies to Enhance Oral & Overall Health

As dental professionals, we all take the responsibility to present treatment cases to patients. Most often, the dental hygienist presents periodontal treatment plans to patients, but in reality, any team member could present this type of case. For example, if a new patient is seen on the doctor’s schedule and periodontal disease is the diagnosis, the dental assistant could have the opportunity to present the case. It is important that with any case presentation, the team is on the same page....
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Everyone Has A Story

Every patient that sits in your dental chair has a story. All stories have a beginning, middle, and end, as does life. We have the wonderful opportunity to help our patients be able to live a long and productive one. Jumping to the middle of my story, my mom died at the age of 58 and my dad at age 60, both from end stage vascular diseases. They didn’t get a chance to enjoy their children into their adult years, get time with their grandchildren, or even meet their great grandchildren.  I, li...
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Oral HPV Awareness Campaign: Part 1

As a Total Health Dental Practice, there was one particular oral disease my team was not comfortable discussing—even though it is deadly and its epidemic has escalated to horrific proportions. You guessed it…HPV-related Oral Pharyngeal Cancer (OPC). Don’t get me wrong; our responsibility to complete our 9-point screen for oral cancer is routinely completed. But we knew the screening exam—was completely ineffective in screening for the risk of HPV-OPC. In brainstorming about our weakness, ...
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The Puzzle of Periodontal Disease

As children, we are constantly exploring to see how things work. We are given books to explore what others have learned and puzzles help us to see how things fit together. As a dental hygienist, I use the puzzle analogy often when referring to periodontal disease. As oral health care professionals, we are trying to put pieces together to resolve or at minimum reduce the patient’s inflammation. To do so in a timely manner, we need to know as many of the pieces as possible. We all know the fru...
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Interview with Dawnie Kildoo, DDS, MAGD

Dr. McGlennen: Tell me how do you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Dr. Kildoo: We perform a MyPerioPath® on every patient with signs of periodontal disease.  It gives us a more accurate diagnosis and helps us understand possible risk factors for other systemic diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, diabetes and strokes. Recently, we have been sending the results to the patient’s physician to help them understand the oral-systemic connection, too. Dr. McGlennen: What has been the physician’s ...
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Stop Diagnosing the Pocketbook

Cost is a consideration for all of us, which we take into account when deciding whether or not to purchase a wide variety of goods and services. Our responsibility as clinicians is to make recommendations to help patients achieve the best health possible, without letting our preconceived ideas about the patient’s ability to afford treatment get in the way – what I refer to as diagnosing the pocketbook. One of the things we do not know and cannot predict is how much value the patient puts on ...
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Where Does the HPV Go?

The alarming incidence of oral cancer connected to oral infections caused by the human papillomavirus, HPV, should rightly raise concern.  For too long healthcare has overlooked the potential of HPV to cause serious disease in the oral cavity, the pharynx and larynx.  Fortunately, early detection is key, and there is now a highly sensitive test that can identify early HPV infections called OraRisk ® HPV.  OraRisk ® HPV identifies the HPV infection often before any clinical symptoms can be se...
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Definition: Collecting a Salivary Diagnostic Specimen

According to an article written in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, January 2009, “Saliva is a representative diagnostic specimen for an overall view of the oral microbiota, since bacteria from various sites and surfaces of the oral cavity are found in saliva and mouth rinses.”1 The OralDNA® salivary diagnostic collection is based on this principle, among several others, supporting saliva as a testing medium. Over the past decades, cumulative research has been instrumental in elevating ...
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One Size Does Not Fit All

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory, polymicrobial, multifactorial disease that not only affects the periodontium but has also been linked with systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. Periodontal disease is a silent disease that affects over 64 million Americans. Most are unaware they have it or possess the bacteria placing them at risk. The use of MyPerioPath® is essential in determining which bacteria are present. It is a key factor in pa...
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