Adding Oral Health Awareness to Your Office
Our last two years has educated our patients with the words, transmission, which we should be adding to our conversations with our patients.
Caries and periodontal disease are both transmissions why are we not talking about it. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8103217/
It is critical to recognize the role of simple oral hygiene as a potentially LIFE-SAVING strategy. Especially for older adults. Remember there are more baby boomers today that will always be the largest number since births are down.
- The risk for death during the study period increased by 20 to 25 percent, for those who neglected nighttime tooth brushing, compared to those brushing every night
- Compared with daily flossing, never flossing increased mortality risk by 30 percent.
- Compared to those getting dental care two or more times a year, not seeing a dentist in the previous 12 months raised mortality risk by up to 50 percent!! How can physicians improve patient outcomes by increasing awareness of oral health? https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=Periodonal+infection&filter=datesearch.y_1
Steps to Change
- Use Tele dentistry on your first phone call. (You will get all forms filled out before the visit. This will allow you to go over and make a list of tests you may want to order
- Update your Medical History Form, perform risk assessment, get both dental and medical insurance so if you have a CBCT you can do prior authorization
- Questions Relative to Oral Health. Medications, Primary Doctor, any conditions such as diabetes, heart, kidney.
- Talk about the effects of Covid either the Mask Mouth Issues or the patients who have had Covid. https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/threats-to-dental-health/what-is-mask-mouth
- Are you a mouth-breather?
- Do you have any foul taste/bad breath?
- Are there any swelling/lumps in mouth?
- Do you tongue or lips burn?
- Did you ever have orthodontic treatment (braces/clear aligners, or teeth removed for teeth straightening)
- Do you get frequent ulcers or fever blisters in your lips/mouth?
- Do you clench or grind your teeth?
- Do you have heat, cold or sweet sensitive teeth?
- Does your jaw click or pop or not open/close properly?
- Do you have any loose or broken teeth?
- Ask patient about the medical history and any connections such as Diabetes.
- Carefully inspect the surface of the tongue and the hard palate
- Examine the entire buccal area and the gingivolabial (gingivobuccal) sulcus
- Do a comprehensive oral cancer, all soft and hard tissue.
- Inspect the uvula, tonsils, palatal folds, and posterior pharyngeal wall. Note Mallampati score –
- Ordering labs:
- Perform salivary diagnostics with a testing Meter from Caries Free.com https://carifree.com/shop/?gclid=CjwKCAiAg6yRBhBNEiwAeVyL0EsV0yFNYqJDdlWhW0GePamuwjjVxTjlSdFbZl09MRBrTSx995AYZRoCuWoQAvD_BwE
- Order DNA Tests if you see saliva is not at the correct salivary flow, low PH levels https://www.oraldna.com/
Sleep Apna effects both adults and children so providing a test for both is critical to helping patients understand the issues that relate to the body systems. I have two books that can help you find the tests and results that you should understand when providing these exams.www.dentalmedicalbilling.com
Oral Home Care
Brush teeth and gums, cheeks, the roof of the mouth, and the vestibule (the area between the teeth, lips, and cheeks). Use a tongue scraper – not a toothbrush – to clean the tongue. An Easy Four-Step Plan to Optimize Your Oral Health & Prevent Heart Attacks – (baledoneen.com)
Choose dental products that contain xylitol, a compound with both a pre-biotic and antimicrobial effect. Xylitol products, such as toothpaste, gum, and lozenges help prevent cavities! Infants and children who use xylitol regularly (4-6X/day) rarely get cavities. Jenny Wolfenbarger 866-928-4445×300 or Michele Petre 914-233-3685 email@example.com
Always clean your oral cavity before bed.
Referral Program with your patients’ medical providers.
There are medical providers who believe as you do that collaboration is necessary for the life of a patient. Your agreement with the physicians is to accept their referral for a screen/diagnosis exam and to provide a documented trail or personal report back on the findings. Having their medical provider work collaborative with you especially with patients who are compromised in the health is something that Hospitals are not including when caring for patients. Example Mayo Clinic, Detroit Medical Center, and more.
The Dental Universities such as Harvard had the dental and medical students work together for two years so they are training for this type of care and are ahead of us in the working world.
This collaboration helps the dentist and physician better treat their patients, and in helping them avoid medical malpractice problems.