The Oral Systemic Connection: A Risk Reduction Approach

I have greatly enjoyed being a dental hygienist for over 30 years. Something that still fascinates me is the oral health and whole-body health connections. As a constant student, I have studied bidirectional and causal relationships amongst oral pathogens and a host of chronic diseases. In fact, over two decades ago, the surgeon general spoke about periodontal disease effects, and we now know there are established associations to 57 adverse health conditions, associated with periodontal dise...
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Oral Hygiene and Cognition By: Ram Rao, PhD

A nice, friendly smile is visually attractive and is also a sign of good oral hygiene practice and cognitive health. Numerous studies have found a close connection between poor oral hygiene and dementia. Studies have found that those with poor oral hygiene practices are at higher risk for dementia, and dementia patients are at higher risk for developing gum disease. Poor oral hygiene and inadequate nutrition are likely the primary drivers for the risk of gum disease in dementia patients, par...
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Dental Hygiene: Looking Beyond

Dental health has never been more important. We know the mouth plays a critical role in systemic health. It is a bellwether for what is really happening deep within the body. The mouth is the proverbial “canary in the coal mine.” The infections we see clinically are symptoms of bigger problems, and vice versa; inflammation in the mouth affects the entire body. We know: 50% of the US population has some level of gum disease.1 Dementia affects 55 million people worldwide, and this n...
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Unlock the Secret to Successful Medical – Dental Collaboration

Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is on the rise in the United States. Until now it has been thought to be a terminal disease with no cure. However, all that is changing with the development of a precision medicine method called ReCODE (Reversal of COgnitive DEcline). This cutting-edge method has been taught around the world to physicians & health coaches and now the dental team has an exciting opportunity to get involved. As the sixth leading cause of death in the U.S., AD is the most common type...
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Periodontal Disease, Sleep, and a Water Bottle – What’s the Connection?

Would you say that periodontal disease and sleep quality are related? The potentially toxic protein, beta amyloid, associated with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, disrupts the communication between brain cells, leading to cognitive dysfunction. One cause of beta amyloid plaque formation is the presence of Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) bacteria, Pg crosses the blood brain barrier in periodontal disease. This pathogen along with ten other bacterial strains are easily detectable with MyPerioPath®...
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Connecting the Mouth and the Brain Through Bacteria

There are many diseases that people never want to hear they have. Cancer is a gut-wrenching diagnosis and with it comes images of enduring chemotherapy and/or radiation. For many decades having cancer meant a probable death. Medicine has come a long way in cancer treatment and many who receive treatments become survivors. In addition to better survival rates from certain types of cancer, deaths from heart disease and stroke have also been reduced in recent years. One diagnosis that has no...
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A Higher Standard of Care

For many years now, research has shown that there is a mouth body connection. In other words, what is happening in the mouth can impact what is happening with the body! In order for someone to have good health, they need to have good oral health. Unfortunately, periodontal disease is silent, as it does not hurt until it is severe. The minimal pain factor, as periodontal disease develops, may be why 80% of the United States population is suffering from periodontal disease. In the next paragra...
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Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Month, enjoy this repost from 3/3/2017. A 2016 study published in PloS One1 examined the impact of periodontitis on the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty community dwelling patients with mild to moderate AD were cognitively assessed and blood samples were taken for detection and quantification of systemic inflammatory markers. Initial clinical assessments of periodontal health were conducted and the same assessme...
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Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

A 2016 study published in PloS One1 examined the impact of periodontitis on the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty community dwelling patients with mild to moderate AD were cognitively assessed and blood samples were taken for detection and quantification of systemic inflammatory markers. Initial clinical assessments of periodontal health were conducted and the same assessments were repeated six months later. The study data revealed that periodontit...
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