• 14 Jun 2022 11:35 AM | Anonymous

    The mouth is home to about 700 or more species of bacteria, one of which is Porphyromonas Gingivalis, the most common culprit of gum disease. The Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease reported related dementias, especially vascular dementia associated with the bacteria that can cause periodontal disease.  

    The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a large population study performed by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, examined whether gum disease and infections with oral bacteria were linked to dementia diagnoses and deaths using restricted data linkages with Medicare records and the National Death Index.  The team compared different age groups at baseline  with up to 26 years of follow-up for more than 6,000 participants.  

    The participants received a dental exam for signs of gingival disease.  In addition, the participants received blood tests for antibodies against causative bacteria.  The team analyzed antibodies against 19 oral bacteria for an association with the diagnosis of Alzheimer’s diagnosis of any kind of dementia, and death from Alzheimer’s.  Of these 19, Porphyromonas gingivalis is the most common culprit of gum disease.  In fact, a recent study suggests that plaques of beta-amyloid protein, a major hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, may be produced as a response to this infection.  Clusters with other bacteria such as Campylobacter rectus and Prevotella melaninogenica further increase the risks.

    It was emphasized that future studies and clinical trials are still needed to test whether treating infections with Porhyromonas gingivalis can reduce the development or symptoms of dementia.  

    Gingivitis has been linked to a higher risk of heart disease, but a recent study says that the bacteria that causes gingivitis also could be connected to Alzheimer’s disease.  This study was published January 23, 2019 in Science Advances. 

    Scientists have found that the bacteria called Porphyromonas gingivalis can move from the mouth to the brain.  Once in the brain, the bacteria releases enzymes called gingipains that can destroy nerve cells, which in turn can lead to memory loss and eventually Alzheimer’s.  

    To maintain lifelong good oral health, the elderly need regular dental care. 

    Dental treatment in early stages of the disease are important and should be finalized at producing a stable oral condition. This could improve the quality of life and contribute to decrease worsening of oral situations in the later stages of the disease when dental treatment may be difficult. 

    For additional information about this and other topics, please visit these resources:

  • 03 May 2022 11:11 AM | Anonymous

    From left to right: Jill, Mary, Jen, Lois, Ginny

    The 2022 Oregon Dental Conference has come and gone. However, lucky for those that registered, still have an opportunity to take the classes through the Virtual Program. The program is available through May 15, 2022. Take advantage of every opportunity available to you whenever you can.

    The ODAA courses were well attended with over 200 participants. Our presenters were from all over the country. We always search for the very best speakers for you, the Dental Assistants, and it is always nice to have many members of the dental team joining us.

    The location of our ODAA table was located next to DANB/THE DALE and PCC's table.

    Besides chocolate, the most sought after sale item was the Mesial/Distal Socks that ODAA had available. Something fun and well liked, so the ODAA Ways and Means Committee added to the fun of attending the ODC.

    I would appreciate receiving information, from you, regarding your comments on this last conference and what type of education that would be helpful to you in the future. If there is interest in a specific topic ODAA would be happy to do what we can to hold an educational course, not only at the ODC but at another time and location as well.

    Please feel free to contact me with ideas or comments, I am available! I look forward to hearing from you.

    Mary Harrison CDA, EFDA, EFODA,FADAA


    P.S. Other pictures from the conference will be posted on ODAA's Website.

    I had the opportunity to attend a couple of virtual courses at the Oregon Dental Conference this year and if you didn’t have the chance to attend in person there are still courses available for viewing until May 15th. I would encourage you to view as many as you can as they were excellent.

    Just as an example, I am sharing 3 of the power point slides presented by Dr. John Molinari. Hopefully these will inspire you to view some more.

    Linda Kihs, CDA, EFDA, OMSA, MADAA

    ODAA President

  • 14 Mar 2022 10:59 AM | Anonymous

    Greetings Oregon Dental Assistants!

    Happy Dental Assistant Recognition Week! As you may know, March 6-12th is a week that honors and recognizes all the important work YOU do! 

    A special gift for YOU! Sign our online KudoBoard for your chance to enter and win a pair of dental themed socks! Share what you love most about your job... give kudos to some of your fellow dental assistants... or share a pic of you on the job! Enter as many times as you'd like! Sign the KudoBoard here! 

    We want to celebrate with you! 

    The Oregon Dental Assistants Association 

  • 14 Feb 2022 7:00 AM | Anonymous


    You might be saying “what do the two of these have in common” and be assured that there is no connection between the COVID-19 vaccine and breast cancer, but women should know how the shot might affect the results of their mammogram.  


    Lisa Mullen, MD, offers some perspective and can answer that question. The COVID-19 vaccine, like some other vaccinations, can cause a temporary enlargement of lymph nodes.  This can cause your mammogram to appear abnormal even when you are okay and there is no indication of a malignancy.  


    However, enlarged lymph nodes can result in a “false positive” on your mammogram resulting in a request to return for further testing which can be unsettling, undue anxiety, confusion and inconvenience.  The radiologist may request an ultrasound.  Following that, the patient may need to follow up with another ultrasound in three months so it can be determined that the nodes have returned to normal size.  


    Dr. Mullen says, “Lymph nodes under the arm where a person has gotten a vaccine can become enlarged as part of the normal immune response to the vaccine.”  The COVID-19 vaccine is a new type of vaccine and some people are reacting strongly to it.  


    The question was asked if the lymph node enlargement will become permanent but she responded “no”.  The lymph nodes usually return to a normal size a few weeks after your vaccination regime is complete.  


    Dr. Mullen suggests that mammograms be scheduled before your first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination or four to six weeks after the second dose.  That way, there is time for your nodes to return to their normal size.  However, if you have any symptoms such as breast pain, a breast lump, or nipple discharge, consult your physician as soon as possible.  


    Following up on an abnormal mammogram is extremely important and the patient’s health is the priority.  It’s better to be safe than sorry.  

  • 14 Dec 2021 5:23 PM | Anonymous

    One of the real joys of this holiday season

    Is the opportunity to say

    Thank you

    And wish you the very best


    the new year.

    Executive Board

    Oregon Dental Assistants Association

  • 16 Nov 2021 10:13 AM | Anonymous

    In this time of Thanksgiving, we want to express our appreciation for you.

    It’s a time for giving thanks for what we have and the special people in our lives.

    Sending you our warm wishes and a very Happy Thanksgiving.

    Executive Board

    Oregon Dental Assistants Association

  • 19 Oct 2021 4:58 PM | Anonymous

    Halloween is a holiday, on October 31, that’s essentially a celebration of spooky and scary stuff, like ghosts, witches, monsters, and haunted houses. It’s traditionally celebrated by dressing in costumes, decorating with things like jack-o’-lanterns and fake spiderwebs, and trick or treating —going door to door to collect candy or other treats from people who are giving it out.

    But, what could we give out that would be just as fun without promoting tooth decay and not a standard toothbrush that could produce an egging? Well…… about: All from your local dollar store.

    • small box of crayons & coloring book 
    • small box of markers 
    • packages of toys 
    • bubbles 
    • mini play-doh 
    • spider rings 
    • rubber bats 
    • glow bracelets 
    • bouncy balls 
    • granola bars 
    • raisins 
    • fruit leather 
    • vampire teeth 
    • small bag of pretzels 
    • small cracker/peanut butter snack pack

    Photograph is complements of Karlene Gander

  • 14 Sep 2021 8:48 AM | Anonymous

    In these unprecedented times, it is vitally important for people to know how to prevent infections that can lead to sepsis and recognize the signs and symptoms of sepsis.  We as dental assistants need to educate our patients as to what can happen, the signs and symptoms, and prevention.

    Sepsis occurs when chemicals are released in the bloodstream to fight an infection trigger inflammation throughout the body. This can cause a cascade of changes that damage multiple organ systems, leading them to fail, sometimes even resulting in death.

    Infections can develop anywhere in the mouth – in the gum tissue, lips, palate, cheeks and tongue or within and below the teeth.  Paying attention to dental health is important in preventing dental infections.  A dental infection within or below a tooth can be caused by tooth decay or a broken tooth that causes the pulp to become infected. The pulp is the part of the tooth that contains blood vessels, connective tissue and large nerves.  When an infection occurs, bacteria can move out of the tooth to the bone or tissue below, forming a dental abscess. A dental infection can lead to sepsis.  Without proper treatment, tooth infections can spread to other areas of the body, and this can lead to serious and potentially life threatening complications.  

    In most cases, tooth infections are easily treatable. However, a person who delays treatment is at risk of developing the following complications:

    • Osteomyelitis:  An infection of the bone surrounding the tooth.

    • Cavernous sinus thrombosis:  An infection of the blood vessels within the sinuses

    • Cellulitis:  An infection of the skin and at directly beneath the skin

    • Parapharyngeal abscess:  An abscess at the back of the mouth

    • Sepsis:  A serious medical condition in which the immune system severely overreacts to an infection in the blood.


    Without treatment, a tooth infection can spread to the face and neck.  Severe infections may even reach more distant parts of the body, affecting multiple tissues and systems throughout the body.  

    It is rare for a tooth infection to spread to other pats of the body.  However, if this does happen, the consequences can be severe.  The following symptoms could indicate that a tooth infection has spread to another part of the body.  If a tooth infection is suspected time is of the essence in seeking medical treatment.



  • 10 Aug 2021 9:44 AM | Anonymous

    Kym was an excellent student in the Dental Assistant Program at Linn-Benton Community College and upon graduation from LBCC, she chose to serve the Oregon Dental Assistants Association in several capacities:  

    • Student Involvement committee
    • Military committee
    • Office of Secretary
    • Office of Treasurer
    • Served as a Conference Hostess numerous times at the Oregon Dental Conference
    • A Delegate to the American Dental Assistant Association Annual Conference 4 times
    • One of the winners from the Dale Foundation in San Antonio  

    More information about Kym is below. She is now going on to serve our country. 

    Thank you Kym!

    (Kym is on the right)

    Kimberly Goodell enlisted into the Regular Army the summer between her junior and senior year July 24th 1983.  She was in the Delayed Entry program and had to go to the Reserve Drill Sergeants in Corvallis every month for a year to be checked in to make sure she was fit and to be trained for basic training.  She enlisted two people and went into basic training as an E2.


    Kimberly graduated in the top 10 of her class and was given an Army ring from her commander at graduation.  She went home on leave and then went to Fort Gordon for Advanced Individual Training (AIT) to learn Radio Teletype as her Military Occupational Skill (MOS).  Here things did not go as planned and Kimberly was sent to the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR). 

    In August of 1988, Kimberly enlisted into the 313th MASH.  In September of 1988, she went to Fort Sam Houston to become a Patient Administration Specialist.  The 313th MASH went to Korea in March of 1989. 


    In December of 1990, the 313th MASH was deployed with the 45th Station Hospital for Desert Storm.  She was given a Scroll of Appreciation from the 7th Medical Command in Bremerhaven Germany. 


    Kimberly married John Goodell in 1994.  They have a, his, mine and ours family.  They have four children and five grandchildren.


    She was downsized out of the Army in 1996.


    She went to Dental Assisting School in 2004 at Linn Benton Community College in Albany, Oregon.


    In 2008, she reenlisted into the National Guard in the Civilian Acquired Skills program into MEDCOM with the help of Lieutenant Colonel Little.


    Since then she has completed all necessary schools as a Noncommissioned officer and has received the following awards: 

    Army Superior Unit Award, Navy Meritorious Commendation, Meritorious Service Medal, Army Commendation Medal with one Bronze Leaf, Army Achievement Medal with two Bronze Leafs, National Defense Service Medal with Bronze Star, Army Reserve Components Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Armed Forces Reserve Medal, Army NCO Professional Development Ribbon with Numeral2, Army Service Ribbon, Army Reserve Components Overseas Training Ribbon, Army Overseas Service Ribbon, Oregon National Guard Superior Soldier Ribbon, Oregon Emergency Service Award, Oregon Superior Solider Award, Oregon Faithful Service Award with Bronze Hour Glass,M device and a star. 


    Kimberly just received her Associates Degree in Health Sciences this year from Purdue University and became a member of the Salute Honor Society and the Society for Collegiate Leadership & Achievement.

  • 20 Jul 2021 12:01 PM | Anonymous

    Congratulations to Ginny Jorgensen and Bonnie Marshall, who have been certified by the Dental Assisting National Board for 35 years!

    Both of these assistants have not only renewed their certification with at least 12 hours of continuing education every year, but have been active members and served as officers of the Oregon Dental Assistants Association as well as Test Construction Committee members for DANB, plus other numerous activities.

    Ginny and Bonnie have taught dental assisting courses through Portland Community College, the Oregon Dental Conference, and other locations throughout the state, helping dental assistants excel in their profession.  

    If you have been taught by either or both, take a second to drop a note and share a thought or adventure with all of us.  

    35 years is a milestone and we are very happy and proud to have been a part of their time with ODAA.  If you would like to share a dental assistant story about yourself or another dental assistant, please reply.  You are important and so are your thoughts and stories.  


    Bonnie Marshall, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, MADAA, BA

    36 years ago, Portland Community College introduced me to many educational experiences as a dental assisting student.  The program prepared me to become a Certified Dental Assistant.  Several students decided not to take the, (then six hour) exam but for myself, there was no better choice. Besides I was encouraged by four amazing mentors Dee Berland, Nancy Deimling, Karen Waide and Dr. Robertson.

    From the beginning, my goals were lofty and I knew that being a Certified Dental Assistant would open many more doors.  As a single mom of three, I had to strive for the best, work hard and hold that important certification.

    Upon graduation, I was able to acquire a wonderful job at OHSU.  I helped start a program for patients to get dental care for less through the “Dental Practice Program”. Working alongside highly recognized dentists and educators, such as Dr. Cantwell and Dr. Peterson, I was inspired to stay focused on my goals of higher education.

    Only five years later and many stepping stone, including obtaining a AAS in Education,  teaching at Apollo College and working at Kaiser, I was able to realize my dream of teaching in the PCC Dental Assisting program.

    I feel very strongly that achieving and maintaining a CDA shows yourself and others a strong desire to be the best.  To maintain a CDA, a person must complete 12 credit hours of continuing education yearly.  By obtaining additional education, a dental assistant continues to improve his/her mind and skills, therefore making a difference on the job.  Your employment may not require that you hold a CDA or maintain membership in your professional association...ADAA, but the desire must come from within yourself. 

    For me, the last 35 plus years have been an important part of my life, and I am proud to say that I have made a difference in peoples lives. I would not change a thing and will continue to teach when asked, and continue to serve as an active member of the ADAA when I can. 

    Thanks to DANB for the beautiful pen and pencil set.

    Ginny Jorgensen, CDA, EFDA, EFODA, AAS           

    Ginny began her dental assisting career as an orthodontic and general chairside assistant. She was employed for 6 years as a Dental Training Specialist for Kaiser Permanente Dental Program and graduated from Portland Community College with an Associate Degree in Professional Technical Education.  Ginny was hired as a full-time clinical dental assisting instructor at Portland Community College from 1998 to 2014. She currently teaches online courses for the PCC Integrated Community Dental Assisting Program through the Health Professionals Institute at the CLIMB Center.

    Ginny is the owner of Smith & Jorgensen Dental Consulting, a company that provides current infection control, audits, and compliance training for dental professionals. Ginny’s main goal is to provide “Best Practice” infection prevention/control trends and how to implement these trends into an efficient, safe working environment for dental professionals and their patients. 

    Ginny is a past president of the Dental Auxiliary Learning Education (DALE) Foundation and serves on the national Infection Control Certificate Certification Steering Commission (ICCCSC) for the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB) and the Organization for Safety & Asepsis Procedures (OSAP).

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