Oral DNA Testing in Periodontal Therapy

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Dr. Linda J. Golden, DDS

Dr. Linda J. Golden, DDS

A personalized evaluation available for those patients struggling with the elimination of periodontal disease.

The oral cavity provides an environment conducive for bacteria to thrive. Although there are harmless bacteria, which reside in a healthy mouth, disease-causing organisms also inhabit the mouth.

Bacteria found in crevices between the teeth and gums may weaken the strong physical bond between periodontal tissues and the teeth, resulting in bleeding of the gums, loosening and actual loss of teeth (gingival and periodontal disease).

These same bacteria have been found to cause systemic diseases, such as cerebrovascular accidents, cardiac diseases and diabetes as well as low birth weight and preterm delivery in pregnant women.

As part of treatment for periodontal disease, dentists use antibacterial and mechanical therapies, which destroy these harmful bacteria and remove retentive factors, which encourage bacterial growth, respectively. However, treatment is sometimes unsuccessful when broad-spectrum antibiotics are used.

Knowledge of the specific bacteria-causing tissue damage, especially when the patient is not responding to treatment, is extremely essential. It helps the dentist to draw up a treatment plan tailor-made for individual patients.

Oral DNA testing is a new technique making great strides in the practice of holistic dentistry. In this simple and completely painless test, the DNA of specific bacteria that cause disease can be detected.

This helps those at Golden Dental Wellness Center choose the best antibacterial therapy to which these bacteria will be sensitive before periodontal treatment is started.

As the treatment progresses, oral DNA testing is also a good modality to determine if the chosen therapy is effective. Post-treatment, the same test also helps to confirm the eradication of the harmful bacteria from the oral cavity.

Treatment this way helps in the early detection of disease and the prevention of bone loss, which may require surgical intervention.

Oral DNA testing is a simple procedure performed in less than a minute. The patient is made to rinse thoroughly with a small quantity of sterile saline. This saline is then collected in a sample bottle and sent to the laboratory for testing. At routine dental visits, oral DNA testing can easily be done and help detect problems that may be missed in an otherwise healthy patient.

Oral DNA testing has greatly improved diagnostics in dentistry, and its use helps both in the prevention and treatment of oral and systemic diseases.

Source: Linda J. Golden, DDS, of Golden Dental Wellness Center (444 Community Dr., Ste. 204, Manhasset). Call 516-627-8400 for a consultation.

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