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Inside Dental Hygiene
April 2022
Volume 0, Issue 0

A Strange New World

Years ago, oral healthcare practitioners could not have envisioned how some of the subjects included in this issue could become accepted treatment approaches. Health advice that once seemed straightforward is now more nuanced or even contradicted as new information emerges.

One major shift that has impacted all areas of the medical and health communities is the growing understanding of oral-systemic interactions, biofilm, and the human microbiome. Whereas once bacteria were something to be eradicated, now it is understood that some are beneficial. As stated in our cover story, "now we recognize that some bacteria promote well-being. Strategies are shifting to encourage the symbiotic microbiome that allows for health."

Another shift in perspective was even more unexpected: the rise of cannabis as a "normal" treatment for a broad range of conditions. This issue's continuing education article reviews the potential therapeutic value of cannabinoids, including analgesic, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-pruritic, and anti-cancer properties. Evidence supports the use of cannabis in dentistry for the treatment of periodontal disease, dental caries, mucositis, oral cancer, and other conditions.

The potential for oral cancer treatment is especially encouraging, as we acknowledge Oral Cancer Awareness month in April. Dental hygienists can be key to screening, as they spend more time with patients. Although hygienists cannot diagnose oral cancer, they can improve early diagnosis—and subsequently survival rates.

We hope Inside Dental Hygiene will continue to be a comprehensive guide in this new healthcare environment. Please visit our website at insidedentalhygiene.com, social media platforms, and continuing education portal, and let us know what else you would like to explore. Thank you for your continuing support.

Editorial Advisory Board

Maria L. Geisinger, DDS

Sherri Lukes, RDH, MS, FAADH

Ashley Leavitt, RDH

Lory Laughter, RDH, MS

Joy D. Void-Holmes, RDH, BSDH, DHSC

Jill Meyer-Lippert, RDH

Tricia Osuna, RDH, BSDH, FAADH

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