DSO Hosts First-Ever Mouth-Body Connection Symposium


Growing research shows that many leading causes of death in the U.S. can be linked to bacteria in the mouth. Pacific Dental Services® (PDS), a dental and medical support organization in the U.S., was an early adopter of salivary and blood testing as a tool to screen for collagen breakdown and other early signs of periodontal disease.

PDS-supported practices began conducting pilot programs in 2020 using active-matrix metalloproteinase-8 (aMMP-8) and point-of-care blood glucose (HbA1c) testing to identify early signs of disease and improve patient outcomes. Many PDS-supported clinicians spoke at the symposium to highlight the success they’ve seen thanks to embracing the Mouth-Body Connection in their offices.

Recently, the California-based group hosted its first-ever Mouth-Body Connection® Symposium in Irvine, Calif. Underscoring the commitment of PDS to continuing education and clinical expertise development, the event provided a platform for PDS-supported dentists, dental hygienists, and primary care providers to learn from experts about the correlation between oral health and overall health, and how to use preventive dentistry and integrated dental and medical care to improve patient health outcomes.

The inaugural Mouth-Body Connection Symposium featured distinguished clinical experts (from left) Amy Doneen DNP, ARNP, Neusha Najafi, DDS, Ali Shahrestani, DMD, Deepika Dhama, DDS, Carolyn Ghazal, DDS, Dirk-Rolf Gieselmann, and Joan To, DDS.

The Mouth-Body Connection Symposium included presentations on:

  • Dental-Medical Integration
  • The Mouth-Body Connection Mindset
  • Incorporating Arterial Health into Your Dental Practice
  • aMMP-8/OralFitnessCheck®
  • Salivary and Blood Testing/Implementation

Keynote speakers included:

  • Amy Doneen, DNP, ARNP, a pioneer in preventing heart attack, stroke, and diabetes
  • Dirk-Rolf Gieselmann, a leader in periodontal health
  • PDS Founder and CEO Stephen E. Thorne IV
  • PDS-supported clinical leadership team led by Carolyn Ghazal, DDS, Chair of GP Platform Development.

Presentations highlighted the education on the Mouth-Body Connection and the latest tools in preventive dentistry.

The conference’s curriculum is part of PDS’ continuing education program, which offers a robust selection of free units online or in-person through PDS University® – Institute of Dentistry. Seven continuing education credits were provided to the 150+ clinicians who attended the event.

“Our inaugural Mouth-Body Connection Symposium was a powerful educational platform, marking the beginning of a growth trajectory for our dental and medical professionals,” said Thorne. “Our supported oral health and primary care providers gained valuable insights from leading experts, while exploring advanced tools to elevate patient health outcomes. Recognizing the mouth as a gateway to the body, the event emphasized a comprehensive, integrated approach to oral health.”


Pacific Dental Services’ Chair of GP Platform Development Carolyn Ghazal, DDS, spearheading an engaging discussion about mindset and fostering collaboration at the Mouth-Body Connection symposium.

“The symposium was a fantastic opportunity to learn more about how salivary testing could help me become a better health care practitioner,” said Diana Do-Yabut, DMD, a PDS-supported general dentist and multi-practice owner. “The insights from the experts in the field enhanced my understanding and validated my purpose for incorporating saliva testing in my practice – so I could better understand the best way to treat their periodontal disease and reduce long-term systemic health risks. I am thankful to have the opportunity to incorporate a Mouth-Body Connection mindset in my daily practice and cannot imagine practicing any other way.”

Source: Pacific Dental Services