Bacterial Testing: A Preventative Strategy
We know so much now about bacteria and the role it plays with tooth decay. A simple, inexpensive saliva test, that we do chairside, tells us the bacterial load, or quantity of bacteria, in our patients' mouths. When numbers are high, we then take action to reduce those bacterial numbers. Often, this step alone can make all the difference.
Sometimes, though, when a patient is experiencing unusual symptoms or has particularly aggressive periodontal disease, it might be wise to find out which strains are present in the mouth. For about $100, a lab will take a saliva sample and then tell us exactly which pathogens are present. Once we know, we can then determine a regimen of home-care and individualized therapy best suited for the patient's risk reduction and disease management. Sometimes, antibiotics are advised for particularly virulent strains.
Who should do testing? We'd recommend a bacterial DNA evaluation for anyone that has a family history of periodontal disease. Caught in the early stages, periodontal disease can be prevented. Some symptoms of periodontal disease are bleeding gums, loose or shifting teeth, bad breath, gum recession and bone loss. People who have this disease require more frequent cleanings to keep the deeper pockets around their teeth free from plaque and bacteria.
Salivary testing may give some foresight into what to expect for an individual's oral health. These simple tests also give us an opportunity to be proactive in your care and preserve periodontal and general health. Call today for more information.
Lake Grove Dental
16455 Boones Ferry Rd.
Lake Oswego, OR 97035