Tag Archives: Whole Body Health

Q&A with Dr. Sam Low on COVID-19 and inflammation, plus personalizing the oral-systemic link

Q&A with Dr. Sam Low on COVID-19 and inflammation, plus personalizing the oral-systemic link

Q: Speaking of connecting the dots, you believe we, as an industry, have to do a better job of explaining the oral-systemic link, correct?

A: I’ve always said, “Don’t use the bumper sticker that reads floss or die.” In other words, we need to stop telling patients that if they don’t see us, they’re going to die of heart disease. No, you’re only going to die of heart disease maybe earlier if you already are genetically susceptible to periodontitis and other chronic inflammatory diseases.

As dental professionals, we have to have the correct perspective. If we’re not careful about the oral-systemic link, people are going to think we’re crying wolf. This isn’t about just talking about the oral-systemic link, but rather personalizing it for each patient. It is taking into consideration the patient’s medical history and dental history and matching the two together.

I think so often dental practices cookie cut when explaining the oral-systemic link. You must boil it down so it is simple and meaningful for that patient in your chair. Link it to that patient and his or her medical history, including familial history.

Here’s an example. This is the way I’ve always dealt with the smoking issue among my patients. My parents were smokers, so I have a history there.

How do you handle patients who smoke because you know there’s a great link between nicotine and periodontal disease? Here’s what I say: “You know your chances of losing your teeth are five times greater if you smoke. I’m OK if you want to continue smoking. That’s up to you. I’m just suggesting to you that it’s going to be a five times greater risk. I’m not going to harass you about it, but you’re the one who has to make that decision, not me. And we will modify that we need to see you more often and your home care must be better than average.”

Q: So if someone has really never jumped into the oral-systemic link and wants some research to share with those patients who might be affected, what do you suggest?

A: The American Academy of Periodontology still is the best resource. And for studies, refer to the American Journal of Cardiology when it comes to heart disease. I would start with this paper from Friedewald et al.

Q: Any final thoughts?

A: We dentists, on occasion, still think we are “dentists,” but we don’t realize that we’re actually oral physicians and oral healthcare professionals. Until we see the mouth as an organ and just as important as any other organ, it’s going to be really difficult to truly impact the lives of our patients in a more meaningful way. However, there is still hope.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Oral cancer diagnoses in the U.K. increased 50% in 10 years

Oral Cancer in the UK

November 6, 2019 — Approximately 8,300 people in the U.K. are diagnosed with oral cancer every year. That number is about 50% higher than it was a decade ago and 135% higher than it was 20 years ago, according to U.K. officials. Thus, the Oral Health Foundation is stressing the need for greater awareness of oral cancer and its signs and symptoms for this year’s Mouth Cancer Action Month.

Oral health plays an increasing role in overall health during aging

Oral health role during aging

Oral health is a critical component to overall health for all ages, but according to dental and medical experts from UConn Health, vigilance is especially critical for the elderly.

You’re probably brushing your teeth wrong – here are four tips for better dental health

4 tips for better dental health

We all know the advice for healthy teeth – brush twice daily and don’t eat too much sugar. So why do those of us following these instructions find we sometimes need a filling when we visit the dentist? The truth is, there’s a little more to preventing tooth decay than these guidelines suggest. Here’s what you need to know.

Cleaner Teeth Can Brush Away Health Risks

Cleaner teeth brushes away health risks

Think twice the next time you’re tempted to skip brushing your teeth — you might just save your life. When gums are inflamed and bleeding, it’s often gingivitis; a dentist’s care and good daily teeth cleaning can reverse it. But let the problem continue and the bones and tissue that hold your teeth in place begin to get damaged.

Soft drinks found to be the crucial link between obesity and tooth wear

Softdrinks link to tooth wear

A new study published in the journal Clinical Oral Investigations, has found that sugar-sweetened acidic drinks, such as soft drinks, is the common factor between obesity and tooth wear among adults.

How to start talking to patients about the oral-systemic connection

Podcast_Oral Systemic Connection

There is no question that there is a direct link between patients’ oral health and overall health. However, many dental professionals have reported that communicating that connection is more difficult than expected. Additionally, when topics are difficult, we human beings often push them into the background of our priorities.

Oral infections in childhood may increase risk of cardiovascular diseases in adulthood

Oral infections in childhood

A new study has suggested that common oral infection in childhood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis in adulthood. A new study has suggested that common oral infection in childhood is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular diseases such as atherosclerosis in adulthood.

Tooth loss associated with higher risk of heart disease

tooth Loss Heart Disease

Adults who have lost teeth due to nontraumatic reasons may have a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease according to a presentation at the American College of Cardiology Middle East Conference 2019 together with the 10th Emirates Cardiac Society Congress.