A Message from Annie
March 19, 2020
“Dear CDC, DDS’s, RDH’s, MD’s:
Ok, I have to get this out of my brain and onto “paper”. So as a dental hygienist who specializes in chronic biofilm infections(gum disease) I have often compared the resistant bugs in our mouth to zombies. It’s just a fun analogy spun from the Walking Dead and such. Well…being a bit obsessed with biofilm diseases I predicted the real Zombie Apocalypse would be pathogen-related. It’s actually coming true!
Ok, COVID-19…who are the high-risk groups?
Elderly, especially those with hypertension and heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease, immune-compromised patients, etc. We are not seeing this in the kids?. We also don’t see chronic periodontal disease in the youth. It takes years and years for the biofilms to set up shop in tissues, organs, bones and of course the lining of the arterial walls in the bloodstream.
As a dental hygienist, our practices are filled with patients with hypertension (taking ACE inhibitors, which is the newest high-risk factor), heart disease, diabetes, etc. I personally have never treated a patient with these conditions that did not have gum disease!
So what’s my point? CDC, please turn to dentistry for some guidance! We’ve had decades of treating the most common inflammatory, drug-resistant infections.
How about taking saliva samples to obtain an oral pathogen report? How about calling on RDH’s to do oral health screenings in-hospital triage? It’s time to turn to the people who work in the trenches of the mouth. And also time to collaborate.
Meanwhile, to everyone not in this field wash your hands, brush your teeth, FLOSS, but most of all eat anti-inflammatory foods.
Anyways, just food for thought?