“New Hat” for the RDH— Oral Systemic Health Educator & Certified Lifestyle Coach

Why would the Complete Health Registered Dental Hygiene team find themselves in inter-professional collaboration with the Certified Lifestyle Coach? The answer begins with understanding that the war raging inside of us is between chronic inflammation and the body’s own host response. We’re not aware of this war because it doesn’t hurt, and we can’t see its effects since it’s going on at a cellular, even a molecular level. The mouth happens to be a major battleground in this war. Unlike a ...
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“Test – and Retest – for Clinical Success”

Periodontal disease affects over half of the population and expresses itself differently in different people. It is a highly personalized disease. It is initiated by bacteria, yeast, and viruses that live in a layer on the teeth we refer to as biofilm. It is this biofilm that stimulates a unique host response. INDIVIDUAL HOST RESPONSE Each individual’s host response is dictated by combining their genetics with their acquired risk factors. Acquired risk factors are things that they can ...
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Gingival Hyperplasia with bone loss and Anorexia Nervosa

Challenge: A 15-year-old patient with multiple years of periodontal concerns being co-managed with a periodontist without resolution. Background:  A 15-year-old female has been presenting for care at our practice since age 4.  From an early age the patient displayed behavioral concerns and chronic poor home care.  The dental history is early eruption of #19, three month recall due to levels of supra and sub gingival calculus, and mild bone loss resulting in a referral to the periodontist ...
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Rethinking the Dental Examination

It’s 2018 and I am dumbfounded by the number of adult new patient appointments that begin in the hygiene chair. We all recognize this is an ‘old school’ practice, but maybe we still secretly believe it’s the right thing to do for our patient. Maybe we somehow believe it’s financially beneficial to the practice. Neither of these could be further from the truth. The dental examination of today is all about the patient of today. From a health standpoint, the patient of today is more complica...
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Dental Hygiene Excellence: A Personalized Treatment Approach

Personalized care for dental patients is more important today than ever! Oral inflammation has been established as the driver for many systemic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, stroke, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases. Periodontal disease is one of the most prevalent inflammatory diseases and does not always respond well to “cookie cutter” treatment. We now know, treatment must target the bacteria that cause the patient’s infection, and every patient is different. Dental Hygiene Exc...
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OraRisk® Caries: Identifying Bacteria for Risk Assessment

Dental caries is defined as the progressive destruction of a tooth and is considered a major health issue in both adolescents and adults, in which reportedly 90% of the population is affected(1). Cavities are formed when acid erodes the hard tissues of the teeth (enamel, dentin and cementum). Acid is produced in the mouth when certain bacteria, such as Streptococcus mutans, ferment sugars into acid. For decades, S. mutans was believed to be the main bacteria involved in caries initiation ...
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Patient with Dental Pain, Periodontal Disease & High Blood Pressure

Challenge: To address the dental concerns to resolve patient’s dental pain. To educate the patient on the connection between dental health and overall health. Background: The patient is a 37-year-old male who presented with a dental pain emergency. The home care is poor and patient has history of only seeking dental care for emergencies. Medically, the patient has hypothyroidism, hypertension, high cholesterol and significant difficulty breathing while asleep. The blood pressure reading o...
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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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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 rea...
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