Flu Season… Why Is This Any Different Than An Infection In The Mouth?

Is your home plagued with the flu virus? It seems to be everywhere. The young and the elderly are those most commonly affected by it; in fact there have been many reports of death associated with the 2018 flu virus. Here’s the scenario: You bring your sick loved one to the doctor, and the doctor orders laboratory test(s) typically, by a blood and urine sample. From those lab results, a determination is made if your loved one has a virus or bacterial infection. With this valuable information ...
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Managing Atherosclerotic Disease: Medical and Dental Collaboration- The New Standard of Care

Medicine and dentistry have long been aware of the connection, association, and direct links between high-risk periodontal pathogens and cardiovascular disease. Knowledge alone has a limited potential to change chronic disease outcomes unless it leads to new clinical practices. Effective and proven new protocols to identify and mitigate virulent periodontal microbes are available today. A small percentage of dentists have implemented these practices and the majority of physicians are unaware...
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Case Study: Class III Moderate Periodontitis with Halitosis

Background: The patient is a 61-year-old male who presented with concerns of halitosis. The home care routine consisted of daily tooth brushing and inconsistent flossing. Following the periodontal assessment, the patient was classified as Class III generalized periodontitis with localized Class IV due to pocket depth measurements, heavy bleeding on probing with inflamed, bulbous and erythematous tissue. The patient has a history of periodontal therapy and has maintained a 3-month recare inte...
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Knowing Your Opponent-Biofilm

According to Merriam-Webster, biofilm is defined as a thin usually resistant layer of microorganisms (such as bacteria) that form on and coat various surfaces. Environmental biofilms are found on the mountain stream rock beds, the dog’s water bowl, etc.. Oral biofilms are the slimy layer on retainers and night guards. They are present in the sulcus and depending on the composition of the biofilm can be very pathogenic. Biofilms are constantly responding to their environment and evolving. ...
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Case Study: Dental Hygienist with Type II Diabetes

Background: This patient is a 38-year-old female, who works as a dental hygienist. She was recently diagnosed with Type II Diabetes. In agreement with her medical doctor, she has committed to diet and lifestyle changes to control her diabetes before the consideration of medication. These lifestyle changes include regular exercise and eliminating sugar. When this hygienist presented in my chair, her chief complaint was “When it comes to my diabetes, I know what to do, I just need to do it! As...
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Exchanging Spit and What Else?

Recently, I had a patient who presented with generalized gingivitis. Her husband was also recently diagnosed and treated for generalized chronic periodontitis. She asked the familiar question “How did I get gingivitis? I brush and floss every day.” These questions opened the door for an interesting discussion about her risk factors. She has two children under the age of 4 and she works full time as a nurse. Both of these contribute to her disrupted and inadequate sleep patterns. She is overw...
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Salivary Diagnostics, Lasers and Beyond…

As a hygienist, one of my main duties is to provide non-surgical therapy for the treatment of periodontal disease. The goal, (during the non-surgical treatment approach), is to change the environment of the pocket, address the active infection and keep the patient in remission as long as possible. Meticulous removal of sub-gingival calculus with hand instruments and micro-ultrasonics is crucial. We must provide a biologically acceptable root surface. In addition to detoxifying the root su...
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Case Study: Class II Periodontitis

Background: The patient is a 54 year old female who presented with the chief complaint “My gums bleed when I brush, there are possible cavities and I don’t like the tooth crowding.” Her last dental visit was about 6 years ago. There is a family history of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer. The home care consisted of manual tooth brushing 1-2 times per day with occasional antibacterial mouth rinse. During the clinical assessment, it was discovered that several amalgam restor...
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An Interview with Sue Baughman

  Dr. McGlennen: What are the top 2 things to consider when you select a patient for testing? Sue RDH: I do not filter who I share this valuable information with. ALL patients have the right to know that there are tests to determine what type of bacteria is in their mouth that may be harmful to their overall health. In other words, I educate all patients on what they need and then it is up to the patient to decide. I have patients who take their total health and well-being very seri...
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What is “Differential Diagnosis”?

There is an old adage in medicine that says “When you hear hoof beats, think horses. Don’t think zebras.” This phrase can be applied to every patient and case; your eyes don’t tell the whole story. It is usually good advice to confirm the obvious, rather than spending time and resources investigating rare things. Consider the virtue of the “differential diagnosis”. In medicine, the differential diagnosis is a process by which the consideration of diagnosing one disease is distinguished fr...
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