Dentists Using Salivary DNA Tests for Periodontal Infections

Posted: March 26, 2017   Article

Bakersfield, CA– With modern-day medical research and technology, links between oral and overall health are well established. More and more studies are emerging that connect cardiovascular disease to bacteria living in the mouth. While many people realize the risk gum disease poses to their bodies, they may not realize just how prevalent this condition is.

Periodontal Disease

A chronic inflammatory disease of the gums, periodontitis can lead to gum bleeding and, ultimately, tooth loss. Nearly 80% of Americans suffer from some form of periodontal disease, though the affliction often remains under-diagnosed in its early stages. Furthermore, some studies have linked gum disease to other inflammatory problems like diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Fortunately, new screenings have come to the forefront of the oral health field, allowing providers to give their patients access to high-quality, timely care.

“At our office, we now use clinical services from OralDNA Labs to ensure we are giving our patients the best oral health information possible,” says Dr. Thomas Frank, a California dentist serving the Bakersfield area. “OralDNA Labs is a specialty diagnostics company designed to provide reliable, definitive, and cost effective clinical tests that guide oral health professionals in detecting and prognosing disease at an earlier, more treatable stage.”

OralDNA Labs Testing

Begun in 2008, OralDNA Labs uses patients’ DNA to screen for many potentially harmful viruses and bacteria. Patients submit a small saliva sample, which is then sent to a lab, duplicated, and analyzed.

“Since periodontal disease is often left untreated or undiagnosed,” notes Dr. Frank, “many people don’t realize they have it until it’s too late.”

Now, with DNA screening, this disease is detectable much earlier on, especially when used in conjunction with a normal visual examination. Furthermore, salivary diagnostics don’t just detect bacteria causing periodontitis; they also determine the genetic likelihood of developing severe forms of the disease.

“OralDNA provides screening for other problems like the propensity one has toward developing oral cancer as well,” Dr. Frank says. “It’s a fantastic tool, and we’re happy to use it in our practice.”

MyPerioPath and MyPerioID PST

MyPerioPath enables an oral health professional to give an earlier, more accurate diagnosis of periodontal disease, measuring and identifying specific types of bacteria. MyPerioID PST provides an assessment of a patient’s specific genetic predisposition to developing periodontal disease, based on his or her DNA sample.

As an AAOSH dentist, Dr. Frank is on the constant lookout for new technologies that can diagnose and treat dental and total body disease. He says, “We are very pleased to be one of the first dental practices in the area to utilize these diagnostic tests, enhancing our ability to provide the best care possible.” He adds, “When we catch problems early, we can treat them early and more effectively.”

If you’re interested in getting an OralDNA Labs® screening, schedule an appointment with Dr. Frank and his Bakersfield-area team today!

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