Both gingivitis and advanced periodontal disease must be treated to preserve the health of your mouth — and your body. To fully understand the extent of disease progression even before physical symptoms become noticeable, our team has received training on using specialized saliva testing microscopes and associated laboratory analyses. But before we explain more about the process, let’s look at the causes of periodontal disease and why it should be important to you to get screened.
What Causes Periodontal Disease?
Your mouth contains nearly 600 species of bacteria, most of which are harmless. But, when your mouth is colonized by oral pathogens, the result can be widespread inflammation. The pathogens, which live in the biofilm on your teeth that exists below the gumline, can cause an immune response that quietly — and typically without pain at first — destroys your gum tissues, leading to tooth loss. But the impact of these disease-causing bacteria goes far beyond tooth loss. Periodontal disease plays a part in many chronic and life-threatening diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and unmanageable diabetes. In addition, it can contribute to chronic pain syndromes, depression, anxiety, and other forms of dementia.
How is Periodontal Disease Diagnosed?
Periodontal disease is typically not diagnosed until a patient presents with bleeding and gum pain or sensitivity. That’s right — these detrimental oral bacteria can be present in your mouth, breaking down your gum tissues and causing you other health problems, and you may not even be aware of them. To make matters worse, these bacteria are extremely contagious, resulting in three out of four people being infected with them.
Getting an Early Diagnosis to Prevent Damage and Poor Health
Microbiome periodontal testing is an innovative and important method of early detection of gum disease. The high-risk pathogens that cause periodontal disease have specific shapes that can be recognized using a specialized phase-contrast microscope, also known as a saliva testing microscope. When a sample of a patient’s plaque is placed on a slide and examined with this microscope, our team of periodontal professionals can analyze the activity and types of cells present, noting any pathogenic activity.
Then, the sample is analyzed using an innovative oral DNA analysis and microbiome saliva testing process, MyPerioPath®, that will clearly identify the types and numbers of bacteria present in your mouth. Using this analysis, our team will be able to create a personalized, targeted cleaning and treatment plan that pinpoints the trouble-causing bacteria and eliminates them.
Finally, using a simple oral saline rinse, we will also determine your genetic predisposition to increased inflammation, which can increase the risk of periodontal disease, diabetes, stroke, heart disease, and even birth complications. The results of this screening will also help you learn if you have the high-risk types of human papillomavirus (HPV) present that are linked to oral cancer.
Microbiome Saliva Testing: a Simple Way to Keep Your Smile (and the Rest of Your Body) Healthy
A healthy oral environment is truly the key to better health everywhere in your body. By treating any pathogenic bacteria present in your mouth before they start damaging your gum tissue, you can also give yourself the gift of better overall health. Some oral bacteria are precursors to widespread inflammatory processes that can promote the development or progression of serious health conditions.
Our state-of-the-art, noninvasive microbiome saliva testing technology can help you stop these bacteria in their tracks, saving your smile — and perhaps even your life! Contact our office and make an appointment for your screening today.