Managing Atherosclerotic Disease: Medical and Dental Collaboration- The New Standard of Care

This research was originally published in 2018 by John Kempton DDS. 

We have curated this article as a reference point for The Larkin Protocol.


Medicine and dentistry have long been aware of the connection, association, and direct links between high-risk periodontal pathogens and cardiovascular disease. Knowledge alone has a limited potential to change chronic disease outcomes unless it leads to new clinical practices. Effective and proven new protocols to identify and mitigate virulent periodontal microbes are available today. A small percentage of dentists have implemented these practices and the majority of physicians are unaware of their existence. In the end, one of the significant causes or perpetuators of atherosclerotic vascular disease is left undiagnosed and under treated.

Periodontitis is a polymicrobial, systemic, infectious, and inflammatory disease with genetic expressions. When medical colleagues are faced with an infectious disease, their effective standard of care is to use diagnostic tests to better understand and ultimately treat systemic bacterial diseases. It is based on microbial identification and targeted antimicrobial mitigation of the known pathogens. Periodontitis, perhaps the most prolific human infectious disease, is seemly held to a different standard.

Just over seventy percent of adults over age 65 have symptoms of periodontitis. Over ninety percent of adults with diagnosed heart disease have gums that bleed. The combined prevalence rates of these co-occurring diseases generate large numbers for those keeping statistical databases.

DNA based pathogen testing- a profile of co-occurring microbiomes – oral and arterial

The new standard of care for periodontal diagnosis and treatment planning has been available for about a decade in the United States. DNA based diagnostic salivary testing provides any health care provider specific information regarding the type and concentration of bacteria involved in the disease [fig 1], and supports the achievement of both local and systemic treatment objectives.

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