Dr. Ibtisam Al-Hashimi, Periodontics
Dr. Ibtisam Al-Hashimi, professor and director of the Salivary Dysfunction
“The continued need for the service provided at the Salivary Dysfunction
is probably one of the major factors for my staying at Baylor.”
Dr. Ibtisam Al-Hashimi spends her days pioneering a field little known in medicine or dentistry.
When she’s not seeing patients in the Salivary Dysfunction Clinic, it’s likely you’ll find her shuffling to her lab tucked away in a corner on the fourth floor, kept behind lock and key. There she’ll oversee testing of patient saliva samples, part of the clinic’s services.
When she joined the faculty two decades ago, the service didn’t exist.
“Establishing a specialized clinic and laboratory that provides unique clinical service is not an easy task for a junior faculty,” says Al-Hashimi, the clinic’s director and professor of periodontics.
She credits the efforts of faculty and staff at the college in establishing the Salivary Dysfunction Clinic, part of the Department of Periodontics’ Stomatology Center. What’s more, support from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center helped establish the Southwest Regional Sjögren’s Referral Center, which has made the clinic the DFW destination for patients seeking Sjögren’s syndrome diagnoses.
Despite her busy schedule, if you run into Al-Hashimi in the elevators or hallways of Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry, it’s likely you’ll catch a trace of her characteristically upbeat nature. When asked what has changed most in her two decades at TAMHSC-BCD, she replies, “The color of my hair; I have more gray than when I started.”
Al-Hashimi talks earnestly as she discusses the importance of friendships she has made over the years. One with a particular professor emeritus immediately comes to mind.
“I have always been lucky and fortunate to meet wonderful people and have great friends,” Al-Hashimi says. “One of my early Baylor friends was Dr. Paul Goaz; I enjoyed his kindness and friendship tremendously. He left us too early.”
As Al-Hashimi’s work with the clinic and Sjögren’s syndrome steadily gains national and international recognition, the need for her specialty keeps her firmly rooted to the dental school.
“The continued need for the service provided at the Salivary Dysfunction Clinic is probably one of the major factors for my staying at Baylor,” she says. “This need … continues to grow and flourish.”
How Al-Hashimi enjoys spending her time when she’s not at work:
“Reading, traveling, theater, and socializing and visiting with family and friends are some of my favorite things.”
“I often wonder how my parents managed to raise such a large family of wonderful brothers and sisters.”
Al-Hashimi in the lab