The linkages between the heart and the mouth grow stronger — so what?

Partners In Prevention 1A new study of the contribution of the periodontal microbe, P. gingivalis, to inflammation of heart tissue is just one more step to justifying closer integration of dental services with medical services. The study reports certain byproducts of P. gingivalis regulate the inflammatory cascade which gives rise to atherosclerosis.

Good science for sure, but what does it mean for the hygiene suite and how it goes about its day?

Two aspects strike me. First, the standard dental procedure called scaling and root planing could benefit from the strong studies showing significant treatment outcomes from the adjunctive use of antibiotics in high risk periodontal patients.  How many hygienists and associated dental insurance plans are following these procedures?

Second, those patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease should be flagged in the dental practice. But how do we implement this screening process and when we do, how do we handle this patient to better outcomes?

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By: Ross Perry
SOURCED: Partners In Prevention –