Why I Teach Salivary Testing as a Dental Hygiene Instructor

  I am a dental hygienist and have spent most of my career in a periodontal practice. Most recently I split my time at Dr. Steven Peiser’s office and serve as a faculty member at Goodwin College in Connecticut teaching Oral Pathology to dental hygiene students. It has been so exciting to teach this course and share my knowledge and experience.  Specifically, I most enjoy teaching about the relationship of pathogenic bacteria to the oral-systemic link which is crucial to understand wh...
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How do you speak Metabolic Health/Diabetes and Periodontal Disease to Your Patients?

Dr McGlennen: Many resources confirm a bi-directional relationship between periodontal disease and Type II diabetes; which in simple terms means if you have one, you will most likely have the other. Elevated levels of periodontal bacteria can directly cause hyperglycemia.1 Long term, the inflammation associated with increased pathogen burden can affect the health of the pancreas. Specifically, there is the risk of the loss of beta cells that produce insulin and respond to elevated blood gluc...
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Finding the Root Cause of Disease – It’s All Connected

  The mouth is, and forever will be, part of the body. The traditional medical model is treating symptoms and body parts in isolation. A new approach called functional medicine is emerging. Functional medicine pioneers such as Dr. Mark Hyman, Dr. Mike Roisen, Dr. Josh Axe, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Amy Doneen, Dr. Brad Bale, and a host of others, are leading the charge. They do not ask questions like “What do we have?” but rather “Why do we have it?” They understand that body parts and o...
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Interview with Functional Medicine Leader, Pete Williams

  Dr McGlennen: You started incorporating OralDNA® testing services into your care over a year ago in Spring 2018. Tell me how you were introduced to OralDNA® salivary diagnostics and why do you use the testing services. Pete Williams: We first became aware of the OralDNA® testing services at a Functional Medicine conference in the US. As a Functional Medicine practice, we are aware of how oral health can have a systemic effect on chronic disease and its management. We have been f...
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Periodontal Therapy Without Pharmaceuticals

Challenge: A patient of record with a history of prostate cancer is exhibiting active signs of periodontal disease. Background:  A 69 year old male with a history of prostate cancer including surgical removal of the prostate. Patient also has a history of atrial fibrillation and cardiac ablation. He presents with active periodontal disease symptoms. The patient states, “I want to be proactive and per my functional medicine doctor, there could be bacteria complicating my overall health.” ...
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Periodontal Patient with Poor Diabetic Control Combined with Poor Home Care

Challenge: A periodontal patient of record is diagnosed with active periodontal disease. Therapy is needed to achieve a healthier oral state; however the patient has uncontrolled diabetes combined with poor home care that may be contributing to the patient’s oral health status. Background:  A female patient of record, age 48, presented for periodontal maintenance on 11/19/2018. Upon periodontal assessment, the patient exhibited oral inflammation with bleeding, moderate calculus deposits a...
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Periodontal Disease & Pregnancy

Challenge: The patient is expressing oral inflammation and is pregnant. The clinical signs of periodontal disease due to pathogenic bacteria look identical to the clinical signs produced by pregnancy hormones. Background:  A 21-week pregnant patient, age 34, presented for care. Upon periodontal assessment, there was generalized marginal inflammation with moderate bleeding on probing. The probe depth readings were generalized 3-4mm. The patient’s oral homecare consisted of twice daily brus...
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Flower Power: A Less Aggressive Approach

When OralDNA® testing indicates worrisome levels of periodontal pathogens, we may want to consider a dentally counter-cultural idea that can help avoid the need for aggressive antibiotics and antiseptics. Most dental professionals believe periodontal disease cannot be cured, yet a more holistic approach has been shown to overcome periodontal pathogens and may offer a way to avoid the continuous cycles of treatment to control re-infection. Our understanding of human bacteria changed as the Human ...
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MyPerioProgress® – Curve Up Ahead

When utilizing salivary diagnostic testing, most cases we encounter will “fit the mold”. We will also encounter many unique cases where we must expand our horizons and consider other possibilities for our patients’ responses to treatment. In my career, I have found these types of cases to be the most rewarding.  In my recent blog, MyPerioProgress®-Your Road Map, we reviewed a scenario where a patient’s periodontal therapy outcome and the bacterial profiles were not aligned after treatment - ...
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30 Years of Periodontal Maintenance with Relapse and Cardiovascular Complications

Challenge: After decades of periodontal stability, the patient presented with a rapid advancement of pocketing and inflammation over a period of only 9 months. Background:  A 60-year-old male maintaining periodontal health for over 30 years started to relapse. Upon periodontal assessment, there were increasing pockets throughout, especially around an implant, of 9mm. The gingiva was generally medium pink with rolled margins and spongy, erythematous papilla with isolated severe inflammatio...
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