Preventative Care- Discover Periodontal Disease Before It Does Further Damage

By: Gen Wright

Making strides to diagnose oral health issues and provide preventive treatment has improved significantly with the use of saliva analysis and testing. Saliva is the body's natural defense for the oral cavity. It works to lubricate, digest and protect throughout the day. Saliva testing performed by your dentist has proven helpful in diagnosing periodontal disease, as well as many other diseases before they start.

Researchers are hard at work studying how saliva can be used to detect and diagnose oral disease and other diseases that affect one's general health. This field of research is called salivary diagnostics, and has emerged as one of dentistry's most promising areas of research. To date, researchers have studied saliva in an effort to detect tooth decay risk, periodontitis (gum disease), oral cancer, salivary gland diseases, and viral infections such as HIV and HCV.

What is Periodontal Disease?

Periodontal disease (gum disease) is an inflammatory condition affecting the tissues surrounding a tooth, which is the leading cause of tooth loss. Once gum disease sets in, the toxins that are produced by the bacteria damage your teeth's connective tissue and bone. This can eventually destroy them and bring forth tooth loss.

Some common signs of gum disease include:
* Gums that bleed easily during brushing
* Sensitive, red or swollen gums
* Noticeably bad breath
* Teeth that are loose or appear to have shifted

There are a number of causes of gum disease which can be corrected and controlled. The obvious cause of gum disease is improper dental hygiene. If plaque is not properly removed through daily dental hygiene practices and regular professional dental cleaning, bacteria may set in and cause gingivitis, the earliest sign of gum disease. Other causes of gum disease include organic changes in the mouth, medical conditions, saliva flow inhibitors and poor functional habits, such as teeth grinding.

What is Saliva Diagnostics?

Patients can painlessly supply a saliva sample, which evokes less anxiety than providing a blood sample. Human salivary glands produce saliva in large quantities, making it easy to collect enough for analysis. Saliva diagnostics bacterial pathogen report directs the exact treatment region for success. It identifies the type and concentration of specific perio-pathogenic bacteria that are known to cause periodontal disease. Saliva diagnostics is quickly and easily administered chairside, and takes about a minute to complete.

Saliva testing offers improved preventive treatments for your oral health and can correct problems before damage may occur. It is always important to diagnose and catch various problems prior to actual development, to account for better oral health and saliva testing helps your dentist do just that. The availability and quickness of the test improves patient communication and motivation.

Understanding your saliva characteristics can give your dentist valuable information to determine treatment choices and strategies. With the successful use of saliva testing, your dentist may be able to help diagnose oral diseases early on. Through the diagnosis of oral diseases early from saliva testing, your dentist can help prevent medical conditions from arising from oral manifestations.

It is important to visit your dentist for routine cleanings and check-ups in addition to maintaining good oral hygiene at home. Visit your Bloomfield Hills, MI dentist for further diagnosis and treatment of potential periodontal and systemic diseases with saliva testing. Your oral health directly affects your overall health.

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Dr. Justin Newingham, Bloomfield Hills family dentist, took over a practice with a 35-year history, changing the name to Newingham Dental Center. He completed his Doctorate in Dental Surgery degree from the University of Michigan and provides services and treatments including Bloomfield Hills dental implants.

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