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Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH

Innovator Series

Topics discussed include:
- The Oral Systemic Link
- Comorbidities and Multimorbidities
- We can do this!

Video transcription:

Liz Lundry, RDH - Hi, I'm Liz Lundry, a hygienist and the clinical education manager for StellaLife. And on today's edition of our Innovator series, we're going to be hearing from Kim Miller. Kim is a hygienist, an international speaker, a published author, and she is the lead profitability coach with Inspired Hygiene. Kim has had over 39 years of clinical dental hygiene experience, and she has been a consultant and a coach for 28 years, during which time she's mentored hundreds of dental professionals. Kim's passion is helping clinicians incorporate the medical systemic aspect of periodontal infection while adopting solid science based clinical principles, resulting in healthier patients and happier, more fulfilled clinicians. So let's hear now from Kim Miller.

Kim Miller, RDH, BSDH - Hi, Liz, and thank you for that great introduction, and hello to all of our Facebook friends that are listening. So Liz asked me to talk a little bit about why I do what I do in the dental hygiene world and in the world of dentistry. So I am incredibly passionate about the opportunity for us as dental hygienists to help our patients manage a chronic inflammatory disease called periodontal disease. Now, that includes gingivitis. Of course, gingivitis just means that the patient hasn't had any permanent jaw bone loss up to the point of that diagnosis. You know, there are a lot of very dangerous bacteria in the mouth that when the gums are bleeding, allow the bacteria to access the bloodstream. And this puts our patients at risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes, autoimmune disorder, some cancers like esophageal squamous cell carcinoma. That particular cancer happens to have an attraction to the p. gingivalis bacteria. Also, bowel cancers and tumors and bowel, gut and bowel issues. Those particular issues have a tendency to be more related to the periodontal pathogen FN or fusiform nucleatum, I'm a little rusty on my Latin. We also know, of course, about the transmission of periodontal pathogens into the intrauterine environment as well as into the brain and those bacteria are crossing over and getting into those protected environments, past the blood brain barrier and past the placental barrier because of the pathogen FN. Now that specific pathogen FN has the ability to cause the endothelial lining, which lines our cardiovascular system. The bacteria FN, that only is originated in the mouth, causes the endothelial lining to separate. So instead of being this firm lining that is protective and not allowing dangerous bacteria and pathogens to permeate into the cardiovascular system or into the blood flow, FN causes a separation of those cells of the endothelial cells and allows pathogens to transmit right through the endothelial lining, past the blood brain barrier, past the placental barrier, so we know that those are really dangerous bacteria. Also, a concern is retinal degeneration, and we see that PG, when it gets into the eyeball, either through the bloodstream or through translocation from the mouth to the eye. It's a pretty short trip, right? A person can put their hands in their mouth and rub their eye or floss and then rub their eye and transmit those pathogens or even through aerosols. So that's an Avenue of transmission that we should be concerned about. Oh, my goodness. You could Google things like non alcohol related fatty liver disease, esophageal squamous cell carcinoma, breast cancer, liver issues, bowel issues, Alzheimer's, preterm low birth weight, rheumatoid arthritis. So here's what's interesting about that. P. gingivalis plays a very distinct role in the initiation of rheumatoid arthritis. So there's a process that proteins become citrullinated, and there's an enzyme that is secreted and only secreted by P. gingivalis that actually predicts the onset of rheumatoid arthritis, there's some really interesting research available about that. So really, the overarching purpose for me as a hygienist and a hygiene consultant is to help the teams that I work with recognize the comorbidities and the multiple morbidities, I believe that phrases multi morbidities. So comorbidities and multi morbidities that are attached to the relationship between the mouth and the rest of the body and vice versa. I'm very, very passionate about helping clinicians understand those links and helping clinicians treat periodontal disease. So healthy gums don't bleed, right? That's the bottom line and if the patient's gums are bleeding, dangerous bacteria have access to that patient's bloodstream and can put that patient at risk for quite a few comorbidities or chronic inflammatory conditions and, of course, heart attack, stroke are right at the top, diabetes, preterm, low birth weight, some of these that I've already mentioned. Now, where does StellaLife come into all of this? Well, StellaLife is a fantastic homeopathic product that will help to reduce overall bacterial levels and to promote the healing and wellbeing of the tissues in the mouth. So my personal experience with StellaLife is that we use the product at home almost on a daily basis, and by almost what I mean is that everybody skips a day or two now and then, right? But we use StellaLife at my house, we use StellaLife gel on a regular basis. I have found that the StellaLife gel is so concentrated and so soothing that it really helps for cheek bite, tongue bite, lip bite, we all do those things from time to time. We bite our cheek or we wake up in the morning with an area on our tongue that's irritated. But in terms of actually treating periodontal disease, my family members and myself, we all use the StellaLife products and really adhere to them. I love that they're chemical free, and I love that they're homeopathic. Now, there are some people that poo poo homeopathic remedies. Well, here's what I have to say about that is that homeopathic remedies homeopathy using plants and plant essence and essential oils have been around since the beginning of time in the Garden of Eden, there were a ton of plants for us to use and consume and use for health and wellness. So I love the fact that StellaLife is homeopathic, that it's safe. Our kids can use it, it doesn't matter, the elderly, all walks of life can use it. Well, that's kind of my story. I've been a coach since 1992, I've been a hygienist since 1981. I love dentistry, I love dental hygiene. And more than anything during this time of Covid, our country has shut down, dentistry has come to a screeching halt in many, many locations across the country. I also want to encourage you that this, too, shall pass, that we will overcome this and that we will arrive on the other end of this Covid outbreak just as strong as we have been in the past. Keep in mind, what have we overcome to this point? As dental health care professionals, we've survived hepatitis, hepatitis B, hepatitis C. We've worked past H one N One, HPV, tuberculosis. There are a lot of transmissible diseases out there and yet here we are in dentistry still going strong. So we've got this, right? United we stand. And again, I also want to remind you that fear, facts over fear. There's a lot of fear mongering going on right now and don't engage yourself in those fear mongering conversations. Let's focus on what the facts are, what we know is true and what we can do to overcome it. And in spite of everything else, remember that what you do as a hygienist every day is a lifesaving profession. By helping our patients reduce their inflammatory burden, by helping them have healthy gums, we are saving lives, we are reducing the risk for heart attack, stroke, diabetes and long term disability by helping our patients control their periodontal infections. So hygienists unite. We've got this. We will get through this, and we will be better than ever on the other side of Covid 19.

Liz Lundry, RDH - Thank you for those encouraging words, Kim. We at StellaLife want to help you with your business growth as you're reopening your practices and going back to seeing your patients. Please contact us through the website and we can share this information with you. Thank you so much, have a wonderful week and we're looking forward to seeing you next time.