DNA Testing: How WE Target & Eradicate Your Oral Bacteria

At DC Perio & Implants we continuously strive to provide cutting-edge, effective treatment tailored to each patient’s needs. And what could be more unique to a person than their DNA? Now we can utilize your DNA to perform oral microbial analyses, allowing us to pinpoint exactly what kind of bacteria is attacking not only your oral health but also your overall health and wellness. In turn, we can diagnose and treat you even more effectively. Continue reading to learn how this DNA testing works, what it does, and how it helps us help you.

What Your Oral Bacteria Reveals About Your Oral and Systemic Health

There are hundreds of bacteria in the mouth, but there are eleven that are particularly destructive. We now have the ability to identify exactly which of these bacteria are present, so we’ll know exactly how to treat the pathogens. Each of these eleven pathogens is linked to periodontal disease and poor oral health. Moreover, each pathogen indicates what systemic complications you are more likely to suffer due to concentrations of certain types of oral bacteria.

An example may be useful. One of the types of bacteria that may be living in your mouth is called Eikenella corrodens. This bacteria is an early colonizer of periodontal pockets, resides in plaque, and causes recurrent gum infection. Additionally, the presence of Eikenella corrodens is a risk factor for respiratory disease. Upon learning that Eikenella corroden has colonized in your mouth, we know that effective treatment entails active periodontal therapy. By simple identification of this bacteria, we are able to establish your oral and systemic risk factors and provide the precise treatment you need because we know a healthy mouth leads to a healthy body.

As another example, if we find Tannerella forsythia colonizing in your mouth, we know that you are likely to suffer chronic periodontitis or peri-implantitis without treatment. You may also be at a greater risk of developing cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, pregnancy complications, diabetes, esophageal cancer, or kidney diseases. Finally, we know that the best way to eradicate this particular bacteria is through active periodontal therapy and by prescribing the antibiotics metronidazole or clindamycin.

As you can see, by identifying which oral pathogen currently populates your mouth, we are able to obtain important insight into potential and systemic complications for which you are at risk. This knowledge, in turn, allows us to pursue treatment and prescribe medication tailored precisely to your health needs. Consequently, the treatment you receive will be increasingly efficient and effective.

How the DNA Test Works

Identifying your most critical risk factors by detecting which periodontal pathogens reside in your mouth sounds complicated. Actually, the process is simple. We use a test called Oral DNA testing. Oral DNA testing, often called salivary testing, is a diagnostic tool that is regulated by the FDA. The tool uses your saliva to determine the presence of oral health issues such as gum disease, and general health issues such as heart attach and stroke.

A simple non-invasive swish-gargle-collect saliva test (it’s really easy) allows us to identify and measure bacteria in your mouth. Since bacteria are not visible to the naked eye, this saliva test makes it possible to “see” the bacteria, just like an x-ray helps to see bones and teeth.

Moreover, we will go over the results of the DNA test with you in detail to help you understand what your results mean and what the recommended treatment entails. After treatment, we can also perform another DNA test to discern whether the harmful bacteria have been destroyed and to detect and prevent the possibility of relapse.

At DC Perio & Implants we use the MyPerioPath and Alert2 testing the most. For a description of these two tests please read below.


Early Warning of Oral Pathogens

MyPerioPath® is our most widely used test for the detection of oral pathogens that cause gum disease and threaten oral & systemic health. MyPerioPath® provides early warning of oral pathogens to enable the personalization of periodontal treatment.
The pathogens tested for in MyPerioPath® can help determine if a patient is at increased risk of Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, Stroke and birth complications. MyPerioPath® test identifies the following type(s) of oral bacteria:

High Risk Pathogens

Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans
Porphyromonas gingivalis
Tannerella forsythia
Treponema denticola

Moderate Risk Pathogens

Eubacterium nodatum
Fusobacterium nucleatum/periodonticum
Prevotella intermedia
Campylobacter rectus
Peptostreptococcus (Micromonas) micros

Low Risk Pathogens

Eikenella corrodens
Capnocytophaga species (gingavalis, ochracea, sputigena)

Order a second MyPerioPath® after therapy or annually, and receive a complimentary MyPerioProgress® report outlining bacterial changes! This valuable tool allows you to measure success and track progress for a more personalized therapy. All of our salivary diagnostic tests can be ordered from the same simple oral rinse collection.

Alert 2™

MyPerioPath® + MyPerioID®

Alert 2™ combines our most widely used test for oral pathogens that cause gum disease (MyPerioPath®) with inherited genetic risk (MyPerioID®) to create a personalized treatment plan.
Alert 2™ provides early warning of oral pathogens and establishes inherited genetic risk. Providers are then able to personalize therapy and treatment as well as identify potential related systemic health risks. All of our salivary diagnostic tests can be ordered from the same simple oral rinse collection.

We are thrilled to implement this cutting-edge technology at DC Perio & Implants. Over 42% of adults over age 30 have some form of periodontal disease, and individuals with periodontal disease may be more susceptible to a variety of systemic complications, from heart disease to pregnancy complications. With DNA bacteria testing, we can now swiftly identify specific pathogenic bacteria in your mouth, implement a treatment plan designed specifically for you, and help get you on the road to oral and systemic health.
Have questions? Give DC Perio & Implants a call at (202) 659-3500. We’d love to speak with you!

Armin Abron, DDS, MS


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