February 12, 2019

Have you ever been to the dentist and felt like the onlyreason that they are looking for bleeding gums is to remind you that youhaven’t been flossing enough?

Well, it turns out that there is a much bigger reason due toOral DNA testing. The periodontal exam can help determine which pathogens arepresent and if these can be tied to any systemic diseases in the body.

Drs. Cooley and Flexsenhar are one of the few dentists inthe Memphis, TN and Germantown, TN area that are conducting these tests.Everyone is not a candidate for this, but if you have bleeding gums or signs ofinfection, this non-invasive test will be a great assessment tool to aid inyour oral health, as well as system-wide.

What Is An Oral DNA Test Used For?

The oral test is a great way for dentists to prevent issues that can occur in your mouth and personalize your dental visit. The tests provide the following:

  • Early warning signs of bacteria or viruses thatcan cause disease, as well as the type and concentration of pathogens
  • Details on if the dentists are dealing with ahigh risk or low risk case
  • Create a highly personalized treatment approach
  • Identification of related systemic health risk

The test determines if you have any genetic predispositionsand monitors the disease causing agents as you progress through your treatmentplan.

Systemic health related information can provide the patientwith a summary of how oral bacteria can impact their overall health. You may besurprised that these tests can detect issues related to cancer, cardiovascularhealth, joint and musculoskeletal health, dementia and brain health, metabolichealth, and healthy pregnancy.

Once the pathogens are discovered, they are tested for ateach visit to ensure that the levels are decreasing to a safe amount for thepatient, ensuring that progress is being made.

What Tests Do We Conduct At Cooley DDS?

The tests that we use at Cooley DDS include the MyPerioPath,which guides treatment for periodontal disease based on causative agents, andnot subjective observations. The second test is MyPerioID, which is onlyperformed once in a patient’s lifetime. The test looks for the IL-6(Interleukin-6) gene variance, which if present, can be an indication of apredisposition for over-expression of inflammatory mediators. What does thatmean for you? It highlights an increase in the risk of periodontal disease.Knowing this information can help the patient understand why they are strugglingwith the disease, as well as guiding our therapeutic decisions. Without thepersonalization of these treatments, patients may continue to have unresolvedinfections.

Benefits of Salivary DNA Testing

Like most of our patients, we don’t like getting prickedwith needles at the doctor, and we don’t want to have to do that to you at thedentist! By using saliva as a diagnostic tool, it allows us to have a safer,easier, and more accessible way to treat our patients. There is no need tovisit a laboratory for a blood draw or finger prick, and you just need to swisha solution in your mouth for 30 seconds. So easy!

Science has been utilizing saliva to explore differentbiomarkers associated with health or disease for years in nutritional andmetabolic assays, endocrinology, immunology, hormonal status and others. We areexcited to see oral DNA testing taking off in the dental industry!

Will I Get Tested At My Next Visit?

We only need to test our patients that have periodontal issues such as bleeding gums or signs of infection. If we can’t locate a difference in your lifestyle that may be causing this, we’ll get you signed up for the test, receive results back, and go over your treatment plan with you. We can then monitor and track your progress as time passes, ensuring that we have a strong hold on this issue and get your mouth as healthy as possible.

If you would like to learn more about your treatment options for periodontal disease or bleeding gums, please contact us today at 901-754-3117, so that you can come visit the best dentist in Germantown, TN. We have patients come from all over the southeast to visit Drs. Cooley and Flexsenhar, especially those nearby in Memphis, Cordova, Collierville, Bartlett, Southaven, Olive Branch, West Memphis and more. Our dentists have years of experience and we are always looking forward to helping you with any of your dental needs! Feel free to browse through our website to see more of our cosmetic dentistry solutions, dental implants, Invisalign, porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, and more.