How do you speak Cardiovascular Disease and Periodontal Disease to your patients?

Dr McGlennen: There is consensus within the medical and dental community that periodontal bacteria contribute to the initiation, progression and prognosis of cardiovascular disease. From key studies, including prospective, retrospective and even meta-analysis studies, persons with untreated periodontal infections have up to a 20% increase in their risk of coronary vascular disease.1 The multiple of risk for stroke (1.74-2.85 fold) and peripheral vascular disease (1.41-2.27 fold) is equal or ...
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Nobody Has Ever Done that Before

In this era of trying to differentiate yourself from the provider down the street, a simple solution is incorporating OralDNA® salivary testing services.  Imagine a patient who has had periodontal disease and has seen several dentists and periodontists in the past.  They may have been told they have pockets, but what do pockets mean to a patient?  Perhaps a lot, but only if they have been properly educated about the consequences of a pocket deepening. Let’s look at this from another persp...
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Traditional Periodontal Disease Case Study

Challenge: Patient with extremely limited history of dental care presents seeking dental wellness. Although patient is anxious, she is highly motivated to create a healthier dental foundation. Background:  A 33-year-old woman with history of acid reflux, seasonal allergies and anemia is seeking to better her dental care. The patient has limited recollection of any dental care in her life, even childhood. The patient’s home care consists of manual tooth brushing 1-2 times per day with the ...
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What’s Your Excuse?

It is difficult to understand the resistance by dental professionals to test for the bacteria that cause gum disease. The excuses are numerous including, “I’ve always done it this way”. A variation on this notion is “We were always taught”. Other excuses shift the decision to the patients. “My patients won’t accept it”. Equally unsupported excuses include “We’re already getting good results”, or “I don’t need that”, or “What difference will it make?” Claims of insufficient time are very comm...
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Interview with Ben Mendoza, RDH

Dr. McGlennen: Please tell me how you use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics in your practice. Ben Mendoza RDH: OralDNA® salivary diagnostics is the most applicable tool we use at Dr. Katherine Brown’s practice in order to guide our patients toward optimal oral care as well as total health well-being. We use this testing to help identify, confirm, and convey both the risk and presence of bacterial pathogens that increase patients’ potential for tooth decay and gum disease, as well as any negat...
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Microbiology Terminology

MyPerioPath® is a laboratory test that screens saliva for specific bacteria known to cause periodontal disease. Bacteria are often described using their scientific name, by categorizing as gram-negative or gram-positive, and by identifying their shape. These descriptors provide us with useful information about each bacteria.  For example, it is plausible that motile bacteria are more resistant to localized treatment due to their ability to move away from areas where the environment does not ...
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Periodontal Disease, Perio Pathogens & Rocket Science

Risk factors for heart attack include; age, tobacco, high blood pressure, lipid profile, diabetes, family history of heart attack, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress, illicit drug use, history of preeclampsia, history of autoimmune condition such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and so on and so on. Why have all these risk factors been identified? Because it is better to prevent a heart attack than it is to have one. Risk factor identification and modification is the cornerstone of p...
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What is the Therapeutic Threshold?

In a previous blog, Salivary Diagnostics—Your Molecular X-ray, I introduced the concept of using salivary diagnostics to provide objective understanding to the clinical signs observed with periodontal disease. Once a saliva specimen is analyzed and the results released, the clinician must correlate the lab results to the clinical signs, and decide the next steps for treatment. One feature of the MyPerioPath® test report is the “Therapeutic Thresholds”, displayed as black lines overlying the ...
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A Periodontist’s Nonsurgical Approach to Periodontal Disease: Part 2

Last week I wrote on how MyPerioPath® testing impacts patient diagnosis. Now I will address another aspect of the report, the systemic antibiotic option. There are some “purists” out there who say they don’t need antibiotics, and that they only need clinical evaluation to treat a periodontal infection. I can’t see the bacteria. I don’t know the involvement or virulence of these pathogens. While I strongly believe that antibiotics are overused in health care, when there is a true infection of...
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A Periodontist’s Nonsurgical Approach to Periodontal Disease: Part 1

I am a periodontist who has been using OralDNA® testing to determine periodontal pathogens for many years. Our practice consists of two periodontists and a restorative dentist. Most of our patients have major dental needs such as implants, bone grafts, and restorative needs, as well as a large population with chronic periodontitis. Philosophically, I believe that saving teeth is the role of a periodontist. Too many teeth are being extracted that can be saved in health for many years. There a...
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