Transmissible Bacteria Between Spouses

Challenge: My patient was very concerned about passing bacteria to his wife and young daughter.

Background: Patient knew he had periodontal issues and was informed that he would likely need to see a periodontist.


  • Age: 36
  • Sex: M
  • Medical History: Essential hypertension
  • Last Dental Exam: 6 months to a year
  • Home Care: Good home care
  • Chief Complaint: Needs cleaning, had been told he may need to see periodontist
  • Other Notes: Reports increased ­­­stress over last year
  • Clinical Assessment: Not provided
  • Periodontal Assessment: Stage II & III, Grade B, generalized calculus noted on bitewing x-rays, moderate bleeding and inflammation


  • Age: 32
  • Sex: F
  • Last Dental Exam: 6 months
  • Home Care: Fair
  • Chief Complaint: None; “wants cleaning,” concerned about saliva test due to husband’s results
  • Clinical Assessment: Localized 4mm pockets, generalized mild inflammation, localized moderate subgingival calculus
  • Periodontal Assessment: Stage I, Grade B

Patient Solution:

  • Date of OralDNA® tests: Alert 2 07/22/2022 and MyPerioPath® 09/09/2022
  • Periodontal therapy: SRP 4341 all quadrants, laser, irrigation (07/08/2022, 07/22/2022)
  • SABX Used: Amoxicillin 500 TID and Metronidazole 500 BID
  • Home Care: Recommended using an electric toothbrush, floss and proxybrush for at home care
  • Other Notes: Perio maintenance visit (PMV) with Laser 09/09/2022, PMV 12/09/2022, PMV with laser & irrigation 03/30/2023, PMV with laser & irrigation 08/02/2023
  • Perform MyPerioProgress® (post-therapy test): Both of the patients’ MPP tests are almost identical even though they were a year apart and had different therapy completed.

Spouse Solution:

  • Date of OralDNA test: Alert 2 08/04/2022 and MyPerioPath 08/07/2023
  • Periodontal therapy/Next Dental visit/Co-manage/Referral
  • SABX used: None
  • Home Care: Recommended using an electric toothbrush and string floss instead of floss picks
  • Other Notes: Prophy 08/04/2023, SRP 4341 all quads, laser, and irrigation 08/07/2023 and 08/09/2023
  • Perform MyPerioProgress: Both of the patients’ MPP tests are almost identical even though they were a year apart and had different therapy completed.

Patient MyPerioProgress:

Spouse MyPerioProgress:

Results: I learned how transmissible the bacteria really is. Their MyPerioPath tests were almost identical even though her clinical signs actually increased over the year, and she did need to have periodontal therapy. However, her bacteria reduced by 82% and left her with only 2 bacteria at similar levels as her husband. This is good insight for patients who had clinical improvements, but their bacteria do not reduce. I’m now more aware to ask how their partners’ dental health is.

Carey Duraiappa RDH
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