For the past few decades, dentists used to rely primarily on visual and mechanical evaluation techniques to detect and classify gum diseases. Though these tests were able to indicate the presence of the periodontal disease, these alone are not enough to define the kinds and quantities of the responsible pathogens. Besides, it was not easy to determine whether the therapy was able to suppress the etiological agent(s).
As dentistry advances to new technological heights resulting in more sophisticated diagnoses and efficient treatments, a part of these crises are solved. One of the latest dental advancements is a saliva test that helps dentists to detect the particular strains of bacteria present in the mouth that causes periodontal disease and suggest the ideal treatment plan to treat the condition.
What Is Periodontal Disease?
When harmful bacteria gets accumulated around and beneath the gum line, it can lead to inflammation and soreness of the gums. If the condition is not detected and left untreated for long, it can cause tooth loss or jaw bone loss or trigger an immune response from the body, impacting the overall health.
How to identify the signs of Gum Disease?
Gum disease begins as mild gingivitis and is often identified by gums that are red, shiny, tender to touch, sensitive, and bleed easily. It is crucial to visit a dentist and get these conditions treated to restore the health of your gums and teeth.
Why Is Saliva So Crucial?
Saliva keeps our mouth moistened, kills bacteria, and promotes the digestive process. Besides, saliva is a mirror of our overall health. The proteins and biochemicals present in the saliva can be associated with health issues like gum disease, diabetes, heart disease, etc. An analysis of saliva using saliva testing can help clinicians gain insight into the condition of the health of the mouth and the whole body.
Saliva Testing to identify Periodontal Disease
Eleven different types of bacteria present in our mouth can trigger periodontal disease. At Reef Dental, we conduct saliva testing while diagnosing periodontal disease to determine which different strains of bacteria trigger the periodontal disease to choose the proper treatment.
During the saliva test, the patient is asked to swish a saline solution in the mouth and spits it into a tube. The saliva is then sent to Oral DNA Labs to get the results along with a recommended treatment plan.
The other major benefits of saliva testing include the following:
- More affordable than blood tests.
- Faster turnaround time.
- Quick treatment as the results are obtained faster.
- Able to formulate an ideal treatment plan.
- Able to determine the presence of certain genetic markers that increase the patient's risk for gum infection.
- The presence of HPV strains that increase the patient's risk for oral cancer can be detected.
If you doubt that you have gum disease, give Reef Dental a call at (415) 563-8123, and we will provide you with comprehensive dental care.