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As we brought out in our last post, there would be 3 parts to this topic of using the laser in our hygiene room. This is Part 2. Enjoy.

As some of you may have seen, we have a microscope in our hygiene room. We have been analyzing plaque samples that we collect from periodontal pockets, pockets that show signs of gum disease and inflammation. Signs of disease include pocketing of 4 millimeters or greater, inflammation, and bleeding. It is amazing to see how much bacteria is in even the tiniest of plaque samples. I haven’t been this excited since my Microbiology and Histology courses in college! Some results have been surprising. For example one sample was from a moderately healthy pocket, three millimeters deep with only a little evidence of inflammation, but upon analysis of the plaque, there were harmful spirochetes evident on the slide. The spirochete family is a nasty one. This is actually the same type of oral bacteria involved in Alzheimer’s disease, and here is a link that has research on this: Alzheimer’s and oral bacteria

This bacteria is tissue invasive in cooperation with other bacteria, which means that it cannot only live on the surface of your gum tissue, but actually invade and live within gum tissue. It’s DNA is found in artherosclerotic lesions of the aorta and is associated with pre-term low birth weight.Those are the systemic effects of this particular oral bacteria. Connections like these reinforce how important diligent daily flossing, proper brushing and regular professional dental care is when caring for our overall health. Those little bugs go non-stop. When I analyzed my own plaque sample and was thankful to see my white blood cells working hard to combat the bacterial onslaught. I felt such affection for the hard working little guys! It is amazing to see what goes on in our bodies without our being aware and how our own beautiful immune system is waging war on harmful microbes. It motivates me to do my part in supporting my immune system and my industrious little white blood cells.

Hope you enjoyed reading part 2 of this blog post! Stay tuned next Monday for the last part of this interesting subject!
Richard Stickney

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