PERIODONTICS – DNA Testing

Several years ago, we started doing Salivary Diagnostics using DNA testing in our office to identify patients who were more likely to have periodontal disease or frequent dental cavities. This simple test helped us identify certain “markers” that we look for to understand why some patients respond to gum therapy and others don’t seem to heal as quickly.

We use oral DNA testing to determine the type and quantity of bacteria present in your mouth. This allows us to predict your susceptibility to periodontal disease, tooth decay and other dental problems, and determine the best treatment to prevent damage to your teeth, gums and oral health.

Some types of bacteria are more dangerous than others and can cause more severe forms of gum disease and other conditions. We have found that oral DNA testing allows us to identify the specific types of bacteria that cause harm and provide focused antibiotic treatments that target those types of bacteria for greater dental health.

When you receive oral DNA testing, Dr. Donley will provide you with an oral rinse. You will swish this solution in your mouth for about 30 seconds, and then spit it into a container. This sample is then sent to a specialized lab for testing. When the tests are completed, the lab sends our office a report detailing the types and quantities of bacteria in your mouth so we can develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.

Studies show that there is an expression of the periodontal interleukin-6 (IL-6) protein that increases with patients showing signs of diabetes. This test will also identify a specific gene that makes a person more susceptible to periodontal disease. By identifying this, we are able to create a more focused treatment plan to address the unique needs of these patients.

To learn more about oral DNA testing and make your appointment with Dr. James R. Donley at Lumbertown Dental in North Muskegon, MI, please contact our office today. We would be happy to answer any questions you may have.