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The Peter Attia Drive

Jun 21, 2021

Dr. Patricia Corby is Associate Professor of Oral Medicine and Associate Dean of Translational Research at Penn Dental Medicine. Her work focuses on the importance of providing dental services alongside critical public healthcare services, like cancer treatment. In this episode, Pat provides an overview of dental anatomy, the importance of oral hygiene to overall health, and the association of poor oral health and systemic diseases like cancer and diabetes. She addresses tooth decay, oral hygiene in children, the utility of dental products, and ideal oral care regimens for different populations. She also discusses issues specific to immunocompromised patients and those with chronic illnesses as well as her own research with cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment.


We discuss:

  • Anatomy of teeth and the purpose of the dental pulp—a highly vascularized and innervated region of the tooth [3:00];
  • Types of teeth and the different purpose they serve [14:15];
  • Anatomy of the oral cavity, bacteria in the mouth, and what a healthy mouth looks like [18:10];
  • Pat’s study demonstrating the importance of flossing [23:00];
  • Detrimental effects of sugar and the importance of fluoride and oral hygiene [31:45];
  • Oral health challenges for cancer patients and immunocompromised people [39:45];
  • Pat’s current research on cancer patients undergoing radiation treatment and the oral health risks associated with human papilloma virus (HPV) [50:00];
  • Periodontal disease: caries and root canals [57:30];
  • The relationship between poor oral health and systemic health diseases [1:11:00];
  • Potential connection between oral hygiene and COVID-19 [1:17:45];
  • Dry mouth leading to oral infections and ways to prevent it [1:22:30];
  • What determines the appearance of teeth, methods of teeth whitening, and whether you should remove mercury fillings [1:27:30];
  • Importance of fluoride for preventing tooth decay, and dental care for children [1:32:45];
  • Useful dental products: floss, electrics toothbrushes, and more [1:39:15];
  • Ideal oral care regimens [1:47:30]; and
  • More.
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