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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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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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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Definition: CLIA certified? CAP accredited? What does this mean?

In simple terms, being CLIA certified and CAP accredited ensures your test results are meeting and exceeding industry standards for clinical laboratory testing. The Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) are federal regulations for United States based clinical laboratories to provide industry standards for testing of human samples for diagnostic purposes. These amendments were added to the laboratory requirements outlined in the Code of Federal Regulations, 42 CFR 493. ...
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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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The True Cost of Clinical Lab Testing

As an in-office coach I often hear the following objection, “Clinical laboratory testing is too expensive. My patients won’t want to spend the money.” Taking into consideration the latest research, released in the online British Medical Journal November 29, 2016, which states that periodontal disease with high risk pathogens (Aa, Pg, Tf, Td, Fn) is causal for arterial sclerotic vascular disease, the patient can’t afford NOT to test for the presence of these dangerous bacteria. (1) As a pr...
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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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Definitions By Matt: What is PCR?

Our readers have expressed curiosity about the technology of a clinical laboratory. “Definitions by Matt” will be a continuing series to highlight your questions and provide insight into the clinical laboratory processes and terminologies. “What is PCR (polymerase chain reaction)?” DNA, or deoxyribonucleic acid, is present in every living cell from Humans to plants to bacteria and is used to store information. DNA is found in long chains of building blocks, called bases. Cells contain ...
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Missing the Boat When it Comes to Perio Therapy

During a recent national speaking engagement, a hygienist told me that they used to do clinical laboratory testing. “We stopped doing it because when we tested months later, the bacteria had come back and the patient had an active infection again. We decided ‘it’ wasn’t working so we stopped,” she explained. I thought to myself, wow, this is very interesting and a perfect example of ‘throwing the baby out with the bath water’! It wasn’t the clinical laboratory testing that wasn’t working, it ...
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The True Cost of Clinical Lab Testing

As an in-office coach I often hear the following objection, “Clinical laboratory testing is too expensive. My patients won’t want to spend the money.” Taking into consideration the latest research, released in the online British Medical Journal November 29, 2016, which states that periodontal disease with high risk pathogens (Aa, Pg, Tf, Td, Fn) is causal for arterial sclerotic vascular disease, the patient can’t afford NOT to test for the presence of these dangerous bacteria. (1)   As a prof...
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