Integrating care for the good of the patient

Medical staff iconsA multidisciplinary approach to health care has long been a topic of conversation. Unfortunately, most of us have yet to see it materialize. We spoke with Dr. Kenneth Kornman, DDS, PhD, president and Chief Science Officer of Interleukin Genetics, about the importance of medical and dental integration. Interleukin Genetics is developing genetic tests for several systemic diseases using markers for chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked with several systemic diseases, which lead to earlier morbidity and mortality. As a periodontist, Dr. Kornman is especially interested in the link between periodontal disease and systemic disease such as type 2 diabetes. A great way to address chronic systemic disease is to open the lines of communication between the medical and dental care systems.

Interleukin Genetics is developing genetic tests for several systemic diseases using markers for chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked with several systemic diseases, which lead to earlier morbidity and mortality.

Right now very few schools offer courses with combined medical and dental students.

Nature’s remedy: LPS, inflammation and non-pharmacological agents

floraEven with a long list of dentifrices, rinses, antibiotics and drugs to combat gingivitis and periodontitis, the battle continues. If you are in despair for what to prescribe next, don’t worry; there may be an answer from our botany-oriented colleagues. There is a growing wave of research being done that turns to nature to help fight our war against inflammation in the oral cavity. Many of these research projects focus on the main culprit of oral inflammation – the dreaded lipopolysaccharide (LPS). LPS is the byproduct of many periodontal pathogens, and it wreaks havoc on the supporting tissues comprising the periodontium. Researchers believe that if natural agents can mediate the inflammatory reaction of the host cells, then destruction of the gingiva and alveolar bone can be slowed or halted.