“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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Patient Communication is Essential for Patient Acceptance

As a dental hygienist in Minnesota, I complete a professional portfolio to maintain my license. One of the core competencies is Patient Communication. As healthcare professionals we guide patients to better health through communicating therapy needs, providing the latest education and motivating patient self-care. Salivary diagnostics allows the clinician to have an objective measurement provided by a credentialed clinical laboratory. However, before the clinician and patient can benefit fro...
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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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Periodontal Pathogens & Rheumatoid Arthritis

Trends in Salivary Testing wishes you a Happy Thanksgiving! Enjoy this blog re-post from 12/30/2016. In December 2016 researchers from Johns Hopkins University published a study in Science Translational Medicine indicating an identified link between periodontal disease and rheumatoid arthritis (RA). It would perhaps be more accurate to indicate that rather than periodontal disease being the causative agent, the perio pathogen Aggregatibacter Actinomycetemcomitans (A.a.) was found to be in...
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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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When to Administer the Systemic Antibiotic…..

The use of systemic antibiotics as an adjunct to periodontal disease have been utilized for decades1. With the emergence of systemic antibiotic stewardship, a responsible approach to administering a systemic antibiotic with periodontal care is warranted. The overall “cocktail” approach-selecting a systemic antibiotic to blanket everything-could be contributing to rise in antibiotic resistance. However, a systematic approach of testing and utilizing an evidence based recommendation helps you ...
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Interview with Tonja Willey RDH, MS–Dental Hygiene Instructor

Dr McGlennen: Tell me how your students use OralDNA® salivary diagnostics. Tonja Willey RDH, MS: Our students’ select one patient with moderate to severe periodontitis for a special program called Senior Capstone project; Perio Project. The goal of this project is to have the student follow one patient from the New Patient Consultation through all the steps of therapy in hopes of improving health or finding a more stable condition. The program fee ($175) includes several types of tests in...
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Type II Diabetic and Periodontal Disease

Challenge: A Type II Diabetic patient, who has been a long term client, has uncontrolled periodontal disease and a history of not responding to previous periodontal treatment. Background:  This 73 year-old female with Type II Diabetes has been a patient in our periodontal maintenance program for years. She has had several courses of active periodontal therapy never achieving complete periodontal remission. In the past year, our team has been upping our game by studying under Dental Hygien...
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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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