December 25, 2018
You may have heard about all these DNA testing kits in the news or among family members recently. Some of these tests help you determine your ancestry, while others tend to focus more on your risk for certain diseases based on markers of your DNA. Turns out, you can utilize an oral DNA test from a dentist if you plan on seeking gum disease treatment in Southlake.
If you have gum disease but aren’t sure which treatment is right for you, then this test just may be the best next step.
What Can an Oral DNA Test Tell You?
If you’ve visited the dentist recently, you may have been told about the importance of your oral health and its relation to your overall health. This especially applies to gum disease, which has massive implications for your systemic health. Dentists have reason to believe this based on decades of research implying an indirect link between life-threatening conditions and gum disease. For example, those with gum disease were at higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease or diabetes later in life.
With a DNA test, dentists can measure key aspects about your oral health that tell you your risk for these certain conditions. For example, it can evaluate 8 different genes associated with inflammation, which is a significant symptom directly connected to systemic disease. It can also test for 11 specific bacteria that cause gingivitis, the first stage of gum disease. Of course, these two tests only scratch the surface when it comes to oral DNA testing.
What is the Process for Submitting a Sample?
Participating in this process is as simple as providing a saliva sample to the dentist. This sample will be sent to an offsite DNA lab for analysis. After it’s completed, you’ll be given a report that contains the determination of the bacteria present.
Who Can Benefit from this Test?
DNA testing is ideal for a wide variety of patients. These include people who:
- Have a preexisting condition (i.e. cardiovascular disease, diabetes or salivary dysfunction)
- Have a family history of diabetes or gum disease
- Plan on having cardiovascular or joint replacement surgery
- Plan on having chemotherapy or radiation therapy
- Are immunocompromised
How a Dentist Can Improve Your Gum Disease Treatment
Understanding and confirming which bacteria exists in your mouth can help dentists create more effective gum treatment plans for patients. It can also help dentists determine which antibiotics will be the most effective for your unique biochemistry. The more precisely your gum disease is treated, the lower your risk will be for serious health problems as a result of that gum infection. Furthermore, understanding the exact bacteria in your mouth will help both your dentist and general practitioner better understand your risk for other diseases.
Creating a clearer picture of your oral and overall health is just one DNA test away! Schedule an appointment with a dentist to complete your oral DNA testing in Southlake today!
About the Author
Dr. J. Lee Pettigrew earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. He cares about offering patients the latest techniques and best practices in dentistry to date, including oral DNA testing. To learn more about his practice, you can contact him through his website.
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