A new study reports that 2 bacteria in the mouth are significant risk factors for cancer in the esophagus.  More particularly, 2 of the red complex bacteria implicated in periodontal disease (T. forsythia and P. gingivalis) when found in mouth rinses at certain concentrations, meant the patient was more likely to develop throat cancer, all other risk factors being equal.

So what does this mean for the hygiene team, whose charge is to manage the red complex bacteria? Does this study provide another argument for more frequent scaling and root planing?

Well, it seems it is more complicated than that. Because another new study found that scaling and root planing provides only short-term (6 weeks) relief from these bacteria.  In which case, the cancer-prone patient would need very frequent visits to the hygiene team, and this would be expensive and inconvenient.  It is unlikely, the high risk patient would comply.

So here’s the rub. Increasingly, the science of the microbiome is telling us an imbalance of the bacteria in the dental plaque causes medical problems, beyond caries and periodontitis.  To correct this imbalance, takes more than brushing, flossing, cleanings and deep scaling. We need new tools to shift dysbiosis in the plaque back to symbiosis — not just because mechanical plaque control is expensive, but also because it isn’t very effective in high risk patients. Witness recurrent caries, witness refractory periodontal disease.

This is the science, role and purpose of Prevora. To enhance the mechanical means of managing dysbiosis by way of delivering a strong dose of antiseptic over time.

If hygiene is going to respond to the risks of esophageal cancer (as it surely must), it needs to move beyond its current approach and integrate pharmaceutical science into its tool kit.

 

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