Woman's Risk of Heart Disease Lowered
The mouth is the gateway to the body.
Oral bacteria can translocate from the mouth to the gut, if the oral microbiome is in dysbiosis (unbalanced) and overridden with ‘bad bacteria’ it has the potential to change the gut microbiota and immune defence.
There are over 54 systemic conditions directly linked to poor oral health aka Periodontal Disease caused by pathogenic bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (PG), PG can cause dysbiosis in the mouth and gut, gut dysbiosis may cause disease elsewhere in the body.
The mouth is a window for early diagnosis.
Oral manifestations often appear in the mouth first and can be a tell-tale sign that there is more happening on a systemic level. Oral health professionals have the opportunity to identify abnormalities and risk factors in patients early. Seeing your hygienist on a regular basis establishes a preventative oral care system and it provides the patient with an ongoing professional relationship providing education and knowledge.
As a holistic oral health practitioner, I promote proactive dentistry over reactive treatment. One way I implement this in my clinic is by taking biofilm swabs.
Once the swab is taken we review the bacteria under the microscope and from there I can identify what types of bacteria are present by recognising the morphology of the bacteria, whether they’re motile or non-motile (level of activity) and the quantity of bacteria. This helps to categorise the individual's oral health risk and whether we need further investigation.
For moderate to high-risk patients, I often send a bacteria sample off to the US to identify the exact strands and levels of pathogenic bacteria present and from there we can work on eliminating the pathogenic bacteria and promote optimum oral and overall health.
One sample I sent off to the US identified 8 out 11 oral pathogenic bacteria present and out of those 8 pathogenic bacteria 5 were of a very high level.
The patient was a 40-year-old woman with a family history of periodontal disease and heart disease. The patient originally attended my clinic for in-chair whitening. The patient had not seen a dental professional in over 10 years.
By reducing the patient's pathogenic bacteria load it lowered her risk of heart disease and other systemic conditions and she is on her way to remission for her Periodontal Disease!
Written by Charlie Rice, The Holistic Hygienist