American Academy of Oral Systemic Health: Collaboration Cures

As a young dentist, you are faced with career decisions. Joining the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH) has been one of the best decisions I have made in my career. This organization and its mission, connecting medicine and dentistry to save lives, has encouraged me to look beyond the teeth by making me more aware of the importance of cardiovascular, metabolic, gut, and airway health. Connecting the dots between a patient’s oral and systemic health is where the next frontier i...
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Why Join the American Academy for Oral Systemic Health (AAOSH)?

The length of my dental career has been shadowed by the declining health of our population. With great sadness, I have witnessed my patients arriving with new lists of lifestyle-related diagnoses and an assortment of medications, prescribed as “band-aids” for those ailments. In congruence, the ever-increasing prevalence of oral disease (caries, periodontitis, oropharyngeal cancer, and occlusal disease) has not surprised me. As a dedicated friend to my declining patients, I started looking fo...
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Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

In honor of National Alzheimer’s Month, enjoy this repost from 3/3/2017. A 2016 study published in PloS One1 examined the impact of periodontitis on the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty community dwelling patients with mild to moderate AD were cognitively assessed and blood samples were taken for detection and quantification of systemic inflammatory markers. Initial clinical assessments of periodontal health were conducted and the same assessme...
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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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Gum Disease and Alzheimer’s Disease

A 2016 study published in PloS One1 examined the impact of periodontitis on the rate of cognitive decline in individuals with Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Sixty community dwelling patients with mild to moderate AD were cognitively assessed and blood samples were taken for detection and quantification of systemic inflammatory markers. Initial clinical assessments of periodontal health were conducted and the same assessments were repeated six months later. The study data revealed that periodontit...
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Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 3

The importance of the specific bacteria to the prognosis of an individual’s case of gum disease was known over 20 years ago. In a 1996 article in the Journal of Periodontology (Renvert et al. J Periodontol. 1996 Jun; 67(6): 562-71.) the authors concluded that the presences of Aa, Pg, and Pi alone or in combination correlated with attachment level changes. The authors further concluded that pathogenic bacteria are better predictors of disease progression than observed clinical signs. In a 200...
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The Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 2

Most general dental practices are providing the same types of services: diagnostic services, restorative procedures, prosthodontic procedures, endodontic procedures, surgical procedures and periodontal procedures. Of course there are variations in techniques and complexity of cases being undertaken, but substantially a wide swath of dental practices are providing the same services. When a patient comes for an appointment, depending on where they live and work, they are traveling past several or ...
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The Salivary Crystal Ball – Part 1

Bleeding on probing (BOP) is encountered every day in virtually every dental practice. It is so common that there may be a tendency to undervalue its importance in diagnosing gingivitis and periodontitis. BOP is like periodontitis or pregnancy in the following regards: There is no such thing as “just a little bleeding.” You have it or you don’t. There is no such thing as a little periodontitis; you have it or you don't. There is no such thing as a little pregnant; you are or you are not. You...
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Ready to Stop Being a Prophy Machine?

Is your hygiene department ready to stop the daily routine of prophy after prophy? Are you ready to have a happier dentist and hygiene team, healthier patients, and overall transform your office into a stellar perio-focused practice? Instead of limiting yourself to 30-minute patient appointments for a prophy, affording hygienists one hour per appointment, or longer if SRP is scheduled, allows you to offer comprehensive perio services, like salivary testing, non-surgical perio therapy, and...
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