The Insights Provided by Salivary Testing

Without salivary testing we have no way of knowing the cause of the periodontal disease in the patients under our care. The insights provided by salivary testing include: Identification of the causative bacteria Therapeutic endpoint Risk assessment Outcomes assessment Risk of recurrence Appropriate antibiotic Incorporating the information from the salivary bacterial test into the perio patient’s treatment plan enables personalized care. Forget the one-size-fits-all of t...
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What Happens Once Samples Leave Your Office?

          The video entitled; "A Day in the Life of Dina the OralDNA Sample" explains how a salivary sample is analyzed at OralDNA Labs, ultimately resulting in a report indicating the specific pathogens involved in the patient’s case of gum disease. It is a highly informative animation of the various steps involved in identifying the bacteria in the salivary sample. The processes involved in sample analysis are presented with great clarity and conciseness...
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Bacterial ID, Easy as 1-2-3

Testing for the specific bacteria causing the periodontal disease for the patient in your chair is as easy as 1-2-3. The following is a detailed description of the sample collection: There is some sterile salt water; have your patient gargle and swish for 30 seconds. Have your patient spit into a vial, cap it, and stick the bar code label on the vial. You are now done administering the salivary test. No separate visit is necessary. It can be sent from the office later that day by anyone in t...
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Pregnancy and Periodontal Disease: It’s All About Prevention

There is a large body of research examining the potential association between periodontal disease and adverse pregnancy outcomes. Even a casual examination of the research reveals inconsistent conclusions regarding the effect of gum disease on preterm birth and other adverse pregnancy outcomes including preeclampsia. There is a similar level of inconsistency in the interventional studies. Some showed a reduction in preterm births following periodontal therapy and others did not. One study, b...
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I Don’t Need That, We’re Already Getting Good Results

The enemy of optimal patient care is complacency. Why would anyone settle for good results when optimal results are so easily achieved?   Put yourself in your patient’s place in the exam chair: would you then want only good enough? Patients trust their dental professionals to provide the voice in decision regarding their care. If given the choice between practicing blindly, with no information about the specific bacterial cause of their individual case of periodontal disease, and having the ...
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We Were Always Taught

Dentists who were trained in the 70’s were always taught that the first instrument used in an operative procedure was the enamel hatchet. Caries excavation was done with spoon excavators and a belt driven low speed handpiece. We were always taught that reversible hydrocolloid was an excellent impression material, especially since you could use the same material on multiple patients. You just had to warm it back up in the water bath. We were always taught that we only needed to use a mask and...
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What’s Your Excuse?

It is difficult to understand the resistance by dental professionals to test for the bacteria that cause gum disease. The excuses are numerous including, “I’ve always done it this way”. A variation on this notion is “We were always taught”. Other excuses shift the decision to the patients. “My patients won’t accept it”. Equally unsupported excuses include “We’re already getting good results”, or “I don’t need that”, or “What difference will it make?” Claims of insufficient time are very common e...
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A New Conversation with Your Patient

How do we introduce the idea of salivary testing to our patients? As is the approach with every dental procedure or service we recommend for our patients, the primary consideration is excellent communication. Some recommendations are routine and no explanation is necessary, including fillings and fluoride, among many others. When we introduce new procedures or services to our patients some explanation is appropriate. DNA salivary testing for bacteria is a good example. So what should we s...
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As Seen in The Washington Post

An October 2016 article in The Washington Post newspaper had the following title; Does gum disease have a link to cancer, dementia, stroke? The article discussed some statistics on periodontal disease prevalence and had this notable statement; “While not definitive, the links between gum disease and diabetes, at-risk pregnancy, heart disease and stroke have been so consistent that some insurers offer extra preventive periodontal care at little or no cost to people with those conditions.” The...
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Periodontal Disease, Perio Pathogens and Rocket Science

Risk factors for heart attack include; age, tobacco, high blood pressure, lipid profile, diabetes, family history of heart attack, lack of physical activity, obesity, stress, illicit drug use, history of preeclampsia, history of autoimmune condition such as lupus or rheumatoid arthritis and so on and so on. Why have all these risk factors been identified? Because it is better to prevent a heart attack than it is to have one. Risk factor identification and modification is the cornerstone of p...
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