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Diagnostic Salivary Testing

Diagnostic Salivary Testing

At Envision Dental, we believe that preventive care provides the best possible foundation for optimal oral health. As part of that care, we provide patients with diagnostic salivary testing. This testing plays an important role in assisting us to achieve high-quality outcomes for your oral health and provides you with an awareness of your oral-systemic risk factors. This can be critical for some patients in avoiding serious health issues.

Salivary testing is used to determine the types of bacterial infections that may be present in the mouth. There are several types of salivary diagnostic tests available. These tests can help identify pathogens known to contribute to periodontal damage. Early diagnostic testing helps the dentist make the best decisions for treatment. When the specific pathogens are identified, your dentist can prescribe the best antibiotics to target those particular bacteria. This is helpful because it means there is no guesswork about which medicines will be most effective.

When salivary testing is combined with periodontal maintenance visits and good oral hygiene at home, the number of bacteria causing problems can be reduced. This leads to a positive outcome for treatment. It is especially beneficial for patients who have good oral hygiene but still have recurring episodes of periodontal disease.

Healthier Treatment Options

Over- and under-medicating patients is always a concern for doctors and dentists. Identifying pathogens and the ability to target the specific bacteria causing disease is a healthier treatment option. Rather than using a broad spectrum antibiotic, targeted treatment means the patient will get the correct amount of the right medicine.

Salivary testing can also reveal a patient’s genetic predisposition toward inflammation. These patients often have ongoing periodontal problems even after treatment and with good oral care at home. While nothing can be done about a patient’s genetic profile, knowing that you have an overactive inflammatory response is helpful. For such patients, systemic inflammatory issues can be managed with care from your physician, and periodontal issues can be monitored. More frequent oral care and adjunctive therapies may be advised.

In addition to testing for pathogens that attack the gums, salivary testing can also reveal the presence of bacteria that cause dental caries. The measurement of these types of bacteria allows for better treatment options to reduce the risk of cavities.

Certain strains of human papillomavirus (HPV) are also revealed with salivary testing. These strains have been shown to contribute to oral cancer, a disease that takes the lives of over 10,000 people every year. HPV has been identified as the leading cause of oral cancer. Early diagnosis provides a more positive outcome, increasing survival from 20% to 93%.

Our dental team at Envision Dental is proud to offer salivary testing as part of our comprehensive oral care. Contact us today to schedule your appointment for an oral exam with salivary testing.