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32nd Asia Pacific Dental and Oral Health Congress

Sydney, Australia

James L. Ratcliff

James L. Ratcliff

Rowpar Pharmaceuticals, Inc, USA

Title: Practicing Wellness in the Clinic and at Home: Strategic Synergies in the Age of the Oral Microbiome


Biography: James L. Ratcliff


Dentistry and medicine are undergoing a sea change in understanding what constitutes effective preventative care.  That change is driven by the emerging knowledge of the oral microbiome and its implications for the prevention and treatment of disease. Biofilms are not naturally removed from the body, and they harbor complex mixtures of microorganisms.  Some of these organisms go dormant, appearing dead when treated by antimicrobials.  Others are able to communicate and organize defenses to antimicrobials when the environment permits. Both situations contribute to the rapid regrowth of oral biofilms, dental plaque, and oral pathogens within hours and days of traditional sanitation and debridement and mechanical plaque removal.  Thus, the story begins from the point of view of a bacterium and what we know about how that bacterium interacts within plaque biofilm.  However, the story must now shift to inflammation, the body’s response to the insult of bacterial infection, and effective strategies leading to enhanced standards of practice in clinics and improved home oral care.

We explore the villains of the story…the oral pathogens that reside within the biofilm, the heroes…human saliva as defender of the oral cavity and the bacteria that actually impede disease and infection, and the fog … the educational challenges and shifts in thinking that are brought about as we learn more about the microbiome.  We close with a consideration of changes in standards of professional dental hygiene and home oral hygiene care.