The Oral Systemic Healthcare Link
Dr. Susan Calderbank became interested in oral care issues for medically compromised patients when her mother experienced myriad oral problems induced by chemotherapy cancer treatment she was undergoing. Dr Calderbank admitted she didnt know how to help her mother and devoted herself to finding tools and techniques to help cancer patients, and other medically compromised individuals, manage their oral problems.
She shared a lot of what she knows with attendees at the Updates in Contemporary Dentistry event in San Diego, September 27, 2013. Dr. Calderbanks mantra is, Pay attention to the oral systemic link, lamenting that most dentists are trained to be tooth technicians, not tooth physicians. "Ignoring the patients general health puts your dentistry at risk."
Dr. Calderbank's all-around go-to therapy for ALL patients is Colgate's Prevident 5000 Booster Plus toothpaste. Why? "All my patients get a prescription for Prevident 5000 Boosster Plus so that their teeth will always be ready to go should serious illness occur."
Dr. Calderbank outlined some common health problems that are associated with oral complications (and vice versa): Stroke, heart disease, diabetes, cancer therapies, pneumonia, respiratory problems, pre-term low-birth weight babies, HPV, medication usage, osteoporosis, and more. Here are some highlights:
- 1. 1/3 of cancers patients experience oral complications from cancer therapies.
- 2. When cancer patients die from an infection, more than half can be traced to oral infections.
- 3. The most common side effects of head and neck radiation are soft tissue burning, severe oral mucositis, salivary gland destruction, xerostomia, inability to eat, and loss of taste sensation.
- 4. Of the 100 most commonly prescribed medications, more than 1/3 cause xerostomia.
- Diagnosing xerostomia is based on the patient's PERCEPTION of oral dryness, and usually is accompanied by eye and skin dryness.
Dr. Calderbank wrapped up with a look down the pike, telling the audience to be on the lookout for products incorporating Pro-Argin technology for treatment of hypersensitivity.