As modern dentistry continues to advance to new technological heights, treatments are becoming more and more efficient, and diagnostic tools are becoming more and more sophisticated.
The latest development is a saliva test that can not only detect which particular strains of bacteria present in the mouth can be causing periodontal disease in patients but can also recommend the treatment plan that should follow.
Gum disease is a buildup of bacteria in the mouth that collects around and below the gum line, causing inflammation and irritation. Left untreated, it triggers an immune response from the body, affecting your overall health and can lead to tooth loss and bone loss in the jaw.
Everyone has bacteria in their mouth, but not everyone gets periodontal disease. In the initial stages, gum disease, also known as gingivitis, can be identified by gums that:
If you notice these symptoms, stop scrolling right now and make an appointment with your family dentist! A professional cleaning will restore the health of your teeth and gums.
Sometimes patients skip their checkups, whether it’s due to business or dental anxiety, and gingivitis can progress into periodontitis. We understand that life happens, but urge you to halt gum disease in its tracks!
For more advanced cases, we use the saliva test MyPerioPath to ascertain which different strain–or strains–of bacteria are triggering periodontal disease so that the right treatment course can be followed.
The saliva test is quite easy: the patient swishes a saline solution in his or her mouth and spits it into a tube that is sent offsite to OralDNA Labs. The results are then sent back to our office with a recommended treatment plan.
Did you know that 11 different types of bacteria can trigger periodontal disease? Some people aren’t even aware that bacteria is present in the mouth at all times!
Depending on the patient, a specific form of treatment may be more effective than another. Some patients might need an antibiotic prescribed, and some patients may need scaling and root planing.
Scaling and root planing is a deep cleaning that reduces the risks of tooth loss, tooth decay and other damaging effects of periodontal disease. After numbing the affected area, a dentist will use a special scaling instrument to carefully remove hardened plaque, bacteria and dental calculus from the surface of the teeth. He or she will also reach just below the gum line to remove the debris causing gum inflammation.
In rare instances, a patient who undergoes a scaling and planing procedure might continue to experience bleeding and gum tenderness. In these cases, the saliva test is incredibly useful for pinpointing the exact strain causing such a fuss!
If you suspect that you or a loved one has gum disease, we can help! Give us a call at (985) 626-4401 and Dr. Schof and our dental team will provide you with comprehensive, personalized dental care.