Reducing vulnerabilities in long-term care

Ontario has struck a commission on long-term care. The UK government did the same before the pandemic. No doubt, there will be other investigations given the terrible clustering of the pandemic in these venues. COVID-19 showed what we already knew — in the words of the Ontario government, “the system is broken”. So if you…

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One slide says it all

“Increasing evidence has shown that the oral microbiota is closely related to the physical state of humans, such as diabetes, obesity, and cancer. In the future, oral microbiota will become a new target for improving the physical state of humans“. Lu, M et al. 2019. Science Direct. So what does this mean? Have a look…

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Tele-dentistry

Over one week during this pandemic, physicians turned to tele-medicine to keep their practices going. By contrast, dental practices just shut down. Is there a viable approach to tele-dentistry when in fact, the modus operandi of dental care is both visual and tactile? For example, how would a hygienist conduct the procedure “bleeding on probing”…

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Oral inflammation = systemic inflammation

A new study in The Lancet reports a significant reduction in inflammatory markers in the blood after intensive non-surgical periodontal treatment (NSPT). Have a look at the above chart.

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Ping pong

…the (possibly deadly) game of bouncing patients between the dentists and the physician.

How So? Well, as explained as an example by a Forbes article, diabetics are considered the exclusive domain of physicians. Gum infections require a visit to the dentist. Yet these 2 chronic, inflammatory disease are interrelated.

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Reducing medical costs

In this new age of containing medical costs, it seems the ultimate argument and purpose for oral health services is better overall health. For example, note this excerpt form a recent blog in Health Affairs, an influential journal in organizing the healthcare system: “Periodontal disease treatment can reduce medical costs in patients with diabetes, coronary artery disease, and cerebral vascular disease. Gum disease is strongly linked to poor cognitive brain function among patients with Alzheimer’s disease. The risk of developing dementia has been found to be higher in those with periodontitis than those without it.”

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Healthcare savings via prevention of chronic disease

A new study which examines why American spending on healthcare has shown little growth over the past few years, reports that a key reason is healthier hearts among Seniors.

Between 1999 and 2012, American per capita spending on cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases (heart attack, cardiac arrest, stroke, etc.) declined by $827 per person. Spending on a related category called cardiovascular risk factors (high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes) also fell $802 per person below the trend line.

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Improving Diabetes Management by Improving Oral Health

Several intervention studies now show that a dental cleaning below the gum line leads to improved glycemic control (HbA1C) in Type 2 diabetics for up to 6 months. There are about 3 million Type 2 diabetics in Canada and another 5 million who are pre-diabetic. It is an expensive chronic disease largely driven by age…

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