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Kathryn Gilliam, BA, RDH, FAAOSH

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Kathryn Gilliam, BA, RDH, FAAOSH, is a regular contributing author to Today’s RDH and many other publications. Kathryn is a proponent of incorporating the latest scientific research on the multiple oral – systemic links into practical clinical protocols. She is a well-recognized speaker, dental practice consultant, and practicing clinician. Kathryn can be reached for comments or questions at Kathryn@PerioLinks.com.

Why Are You Still Delaying Periodontal Treatments?

When I graduated from dental hygiene school in the 1980s, the central idea of periodontal disease development and progression was that only specific periodontal pathogens cause periodontal disease and that all other bacteria present in the oral cavity are either beneficial or benign. It was also believed that the bacterial load must reach a certain threshold, at which point...

A Tough Day Transformed: A Special Patient Turns Hygienist’s Day Around

Today was a tough day. We’ve all had challenging days – especially lately. First, there was Joseph. He hadn’t been in for 18 months between working in Mumbai and the current pandemic of COVID-19. Joseph has been using a manual toothbrush and floss picks daily. He has also been under a great deal of stress having come back to town...

Why Cancer Screening is Non-negotiable for this Dental Hygienist

Lecturers at dental conferences often share stories about the times they were able to save a patient’s life by performing a head and neck cancer screening. I have a couple of those stories myself. But the story I tell my conference attendees and my clients is not a hero story about the time I was successful at early detection. I...

Systemic Health: Lifting Science Off the Page and into Clinical Protocols

As knowledge of the oral-systemic connections has become widely understood and accepted, the next step is to lift that science off the page and integrate that knowledge into practical clinical protocols. Mainstream media and internet sources are brimming with information about the connections between the mouth and the body. As the general public becomes more aware of these links, they...

The RDH Detective: Discovering Sleep Disordered Breathing in Adults

This is an exciting time to be a dental health professional. As our understanding of the multiple links between the mouth and the body has increased, our roles have expanded to include comprehensive care of the patient’s whole health. One aspect of whole health care that can have an enormous life-changing and lifesaving effect is to screen for sleep-disordered...

The RDH Dental Detective: Questions to Discover Childhood Sleep Disordered Breathing

As our understanding of the multiple links between the mouth and the body has increased, our roles have expanded to include care of the patient’s whole health. One aspect of whole health care that can have an enormous life-changing and life-saving effect is to screen for sleep-disordered breathing. By discovering disordered sleep breathing, the dental professional can make a difference...

Air Polishing Dangers: Case Study of an Injured Dental Patient

A friend recently reached out to me and other dental professionals on Facebook to ask for help regarding a soft tissue injury sustained while his dental hygienist was using an air polisher. We’ll just refer to this fellow as Joe to protect his privacy. Joe has seemingly suffered every complication and long-term side effect from treatment for head-and-neck cancer...