Kathleen's Blog - August 17, 2021 With Special Guest Author, Lorraine Gambacourt
August 17, 2021at4:00 AM
We had a great off-site (aka in-office) Laser Training this past weekend, which inspired Lorraine Gambacourt, RDH (one of rdhu's Laser Trainers) to write this week's blog!
Nightmare on Oral Health Street: How dangerous is Pg to our health?
It has been well documented that Porphyromonas gingivalis has been labelled a keystone periodontal pathogen that plays a significant role in the onset and progression of periodontitis. This highly intelligent pathogen can communicate with other pathogens and essentially boost the virulence of the entire bacterial colony as well as manipulate the host response.
While I hope this knowledge is not creating nightmares for you, I am sure this pathogen has been on your mind from time to time and been a source of many google searches to better understand its role in periodontal tissue destruction and systemic health.
Newsflash! Potential Goal Statement:
I plan to improve my dental hygiene practice by ....
better understanding the role of P. gingivalis in periodontal and systemic health and the treatment protocols that can positively influence this so that I can make changes to my practice as required.
I just came across a study from November 2020 entitled: Porphyromonas gingivalis and Its Systemic Impact: Current Status. Among the numerous systemic connections listed that are linked to Pg, included two that we hear most often about; Alzheimer’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis. A bit of a shocker to me however, was the mention in this publication of a study by Wang et al which provided the first experimental evidence that P. gingivalis could be a risk factor for depression!
And the hits just keep on coming!
Another association worth mentioning is the presence of P. gingivalis within the placenta or umbilical cord of pregnant women leading to many pregnancy complications, including preterm birth (PB), preeclampsia, and pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders.
Dr. Bradley Bale, one of the nation’s leading specialists in preventing heart attacks, stroke and diabetes, has stated “Pg is not conducive with a healthy heart.”
So what weapon can we use to slay this beast?!
P. gingivalis is a late colonizer becoming abundant in the dental plaque microbiome if biofilm is left undisturbed and allowed to mature. It is also more prevalent in pockets depths greater than 4mm. It invades the human body and influences general health in four main ways, one of which is by bacteremia. In a healthy, balanced biofilm the consistent disruption of plaque through excellent oral hygiene methods (which should always be a focus in client care) is key in preventing the growth of P. gingivalis and other pathogens, but many of our clients may need help initially to tip the balance towards health.
While systemic antibiotics have been recommended in the past to help combat severe periodontal disease, there are several modalities that can provide a “non-antibiotic” solution. The Diode Laser is a weapon we have in our arsenal that provides this type of solution!!
Yes, there is good news! P. gingivalis along with many other gram negative pathogens have a dark pigmentation. Diode laser energy just happens to be attracted to and absorbed by water, hemoglobin AND pigmentation. Therefore, this unique tool will have an affinity towards Pg and other dark pigmented pathogens that contribute to periodontal disease. Using the diode laser as part of your dental hygiene therapy at the beginning of your appointment will not only kill these pathogens but significantly reduce the potential for bacteremia, providing a wonderful tool to help you help your clients improve their oral health outcomes.
The number of dental Hygienists using lasers routinely has doubled since 2008!
Are you ready to jump aboard this fast moving train?!
Click here for our next laser training date that begins on Tuesday, September 21 (theory online). Hands-on date: Saturday, October 16th
Did you know for your convenience we also offer in office certification? I just attended an office on Sunday and this group of four dental hygienists were happy to have me come to them, as working on Saturdays prevented them from being able to attend our facility for the hands-on portion. Contact us for more information about this service!
'Lorraine did a fantastic job with our In Office Laser training. It was so convenient for her to come to us as our hygienists rotate working on Saturdays. The training was fun and very informative! I appreciated Lorraine’s patience and encouragement during our hands on portion. I now feel confident to apply my knowledge and provide my clients laser therapy to further assist with their oral health. I am so excited for the great results to come! '
Leman Kalomiris, RDH
Thank you, Lorraine, for this informative blog!
Thank you for reading and have a great week ahead. Please take a look below for what is coming up!