This week Dr. Odiatu is talking about total body health and that our job is more than being concerned with P. gingivalis.
Dr. Odiatu is a practicing dentist, certified trainer, author, speaker, and repeat AToTH guest. He always brings us content that we can use to make us and our patients happy and healthy. Be sure to check out the many episodes with Dr. Uche and head over to our YouTube channel and watch the videos Dr. Uche and Michelle did to help you stretch and take care of your body!
Book: The Miracle of Health
For your viewing pleasure this TIPisode has been Transcribed:
Michelle Strange: A Tale of Two Hygienists presents this week’s TIPisode: Quick and easy tips to keep you up to date, and presented by the experts in the profession. Now, get ready for your unofficial TIPisode.
Uche Odiatu: Hi. Doctor Uche Odiatu here to share with you some insights on how patients are starving for health care providers that look at the big picture from head to toe, very similar to the theme of Beyond the Prophy.
Let me give you a [sic] example. So just a couple days ago I’m in the reception area, a patient sees me from where she’s sitting, comes over to the desk and says, “Doctor Odiatu, I’m in for a hygiene appointment tonight, but quick question for you. What can you tell me about halitosis?” And I said, “Well, in a nutshell, it could be from the mouth, but it also could be form your sinuses. It could be from your lungs. It could be from your stomach. But we’ll check you out during your appointment, and we’ll see what’s going on.”
I said, “Have you had any sinus issues lately?” And she goes, “Yes. I am plagued with sinus infections. I usually have two or three a year.” I said, “Do you often get antibiotics?” She goes, “Yes.” I said, “Well, there’s a book called The Microbiome Solution by gastroenterologist Robynne Chutkan who said that people who have regular sinusitis problems and who regular [sic] take antibiotics decimate the good flora in their sinuses, and they have a third less good bacteria in their sinuses, which makes it even more prone to sinusitis.”
She goes, “Oh, my God. What else?” I said, “Well, do you brush your tongue?” And she said, “No.” I said, “Well, some people are very — have a very lots of papilla on their tongue, and it collects and traps food and debris, and that could be a source of odor. But if your tongue is bald — or does your tongue have papilla — but you can still brush your tongue for get — for keeping an eye out for bad breath.”
I said, “Do you floss?” She goes, “Well, I floss. I sometimes floss.” I said, “Well, if you ever snap your floss through two or three of your teeth, smell your floss, and you’ll see actually what you’re missing. They actually have shown that 20 percent of the tooth surface area happens in between the teeth in interproximal area.”
She goes, “Oh, my God. Well, I’ve been on antibiotics my whole life.” I said, “What do you mean?” She goes, “Well, when I was a kid, I had tons of ear infections.” I said, “Well, they’ve actually shown — this is Doctor Emeran Mayer and in his book The Mind-Gut Connection said that people who are kids in particular who have chronic ear infections and are on very powerful antibiotics often are plagued with all kinds of immune system issues when they get older.”
Sure you need an antibiotic as a child if your infection is bacterial and not going away. However, as a viral bacteria, there is no need for antibiotics. And many moms actually will insist to the doctor they want an antibiotic because they’re going to Disney World and we want to make sure that little Joey doesn’t have a flare-up.
So I said, “Wow. That’s a lot, isn’t it?” She goes, “Yes.” I said, “Do you happen to sleep with your mouth open?” She goes, “Why?” I said, “Well, if you have a dry mouth, you’re also more likely to suffer from halitosis.” She goes, “Well, I snore.” I said, “Well, okay. Your mouth is open then.” She goes, “Yeah. My husband hates it.” I said, “What do you mean? Have you ever gone for a sleep study?” And she said, “Well, I thought about it, but I wasn’t sure if I would be eligible.” I said, “Well, something you might want to talk about with your medical doctor, but snoring is not just an innocent habit. It’ll also show that it is an interruption to oxygen flow to the brain and, over the year, decades, over a lifetime, can definitely support cognitive decline.”
So this is all in the aspect of about two minutes of time, and I said, “You know what? [Indiscernible 00:08:19] going to have a good conversation as such.” She goes, “I know. But I’m not due for an exam.” She said, “It’s just a in between visit [sic]. You told me the benefits of coming for hygiene appointment more often just because to control my blood sugar.” I said, “Yeah. Well, I’ll pop in anyway.”
So during her exam visit, I gave her the name of a naturopathic doctor, which is a great source of alternative healing and to investigate her sinusitis, her snoring. I also recommend she talk with a medical doctor about it obviously because also your medical doctor can send you for an overnight sleep study.
But anyway, she thanked me like crazy, and I so appreciate having my interest be a benefit to patients. The hygienist overheard all the conversation, and again it was reinforced between the two of us how we are much more than just tooth mechanics and taking care of the oral apparatus. We felt very fulfilled at the end of the night. We recounted what happened, and I reviewed what I recommended to her out in the reception area, but the hygienist and I, we felt great. It was just an awesome feeling to know we are much more than just tooth cleaners and crown preppers and these patients really appreciate the all-round care and the total-health viewpoint of health care providers.
The oral-systemic link goes beyond P. gingivalis. It’s amazing how it can impact every aspect. And chairside, we can definitely be the leaders in an authentic conversation.
Druche.com. You can also follow me on Instagram. My name is @fitspeakers on Instagram. Take care.
Michelle Strange: We hope you enjoyed this week’s TIPisode. Be sure to reach out to our guest experts and let them know how helpful their tips were. Follow A Tale of Two Hygienists on Facebook, Instagram, and head over to ataleoftwohygienists.com and subscribe to our newsletter. You can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and keep listening for more awesome content from your unofficial dental hygiene podcast.