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The Clinical Implementation of Salivary Diagnostic Testing for Risk Assessment in Periodontal Disease

Article featured in Oral Health Canada, Dec. 2014

Periodontal disease is an inflammatory disease of the supporting tissues of the teeth, which is caused by specific microorganisms or groups of microorganisms living in a biofilm, on and around the teeth. Microorganisms initiate an immune response, and in some cases the result is progressive destruction of gingival tissues, the periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. Disease progression is characterized by increased pocket formation, recession, tooth mobility, and in some cases, the eventual loss of teeth.

For many practitioners, the traditional standard of recording bleeding, pocket depths, and bone loss seems to simply provide historical information about a patientís periodontal disease progression. What has been missing is a reliable way to determine the pathogens present and the current microbial makeup of a patientís specific disease. (Continue Reading)

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Salivary Diagnostics Pennwell Publication

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According to the latest CDC, NHANES survey, the incidence of periodontal disease is far greater than we have been led to believe, yet dental offices are submitting relatively few claims for periodontal procedures. This disconnect may stem from the fact that so many clinicians are "treating" disease with prophylaxes instead of definitively diagnosing. Until recently, clinicians depended on simply probing for clinical data. Now, with a simple salivary test, clinicians have the ability to accurately determine the causative pathogens of periodontal diseases. The information obtained from Salivary Diagnostic testing allows the clinician, and the patient, to understand the underlying causes of clinical changes and provide definitive therapy for management of disease. This discussion will also cover the implications and importance of dental clinicians forging a closer link with their medical colleagues by utilizing pathogen and genetic predisposition testing for more targeted, personalized therapy.