Renowned periodontist brings magic to serious oral health topic

Renowned periodontist brings magic to serious oral health topic

straight teeth
(© Ovcharenko –

As an experienced magician, Mark Ryder is known to engage his students with sleight of hand and eye-popping tricks to illustrate complex scientific concepts. As a renowned periodontist, however, Ryder is quick to show that the connection between periodontal disease and dementia is no illusion.

The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine is hosting Ryder, as he addresses that important connection at the 11th annual Delta Dental of Virginia Endowed Lecture at 7 p.m. on Jan. 5, 2022.

Ryder, who is professor of orofacial sciences at the University of California San Francisco School of Dentistry, will present an entertaining and informative lecture titled, “Floss to Remember to Floss/Remember to Floss: The Mouth-Brain Connection.”

The lecture is free and open to the public. It will be offered both in person and virtually, with registration required for both options. Those who attend in person should be fully vaccinated and wear a mask. Register here.

“Over the past several decades, there has been extensive research into the connections between oral and systemic health,” Ryder said.

In his lecture, Ryder will present a brief overview of these connections as well as a more in-depth look at new insights and therapeutic approaches to periodontal diseases and dementia.

“These will include the most up-to-date results of ongoing clinical trials that support the role of oral bacteria in the earliest stages of Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia,” he said.

“We are honored to have Dr. Ryder as our guest speaker for the 11th annual Delta Dental Endowed Lecture,” said Charles “Bud” Conklin, retired dentist and associate professor of surgery Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine who was instrumental in developing an oral health component to the school’s curriculum. “His research is incredibly timely for dentists and other health care providers as well as medical students.”

In addition to sponsoring the annual lecture, Delta Dental’s support is, in a large part, responsible for the school’s robust oral health-oral medicine curriculum. Recognizing the need for medical students to be trained in oral health, the school provides a curriculum and a dedicated elective that offers students the diagnostic and clinical skills to incorporate oral health care in their future practices as physicians, thus enhancing patient outcomes.



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