Our office is pleased to announce the availability of 2 laboratory tests relating to oral health and overall wellness. We believe that some of our patients may benefit from these tests, but they are usually not covered by your insurance. Therefore, we will only perform them at your request. So, it’s important for you to understand the tests and their related conditions.
One of the conditions is periodontitis, which can result in loss of your teeth. Biofilms and inflammation cause gum disease. More than 50% of Americans have gum disease. The other condition is oral cancer. Oral cancer can be caused by infection with a virus called HPV and by tobacco and alcohol use. HPV-related oral cancer occurs most often in people who don’t smoke or drink very much. A different kind of oral cancer occurs in smokers who drink a lot. About 36,000 Americans get oral cancer every year.
The MyPerioPath® test is for patients who have gum disease. It finds out which bacteria are triggering the gum disease. Once we know which bacteria are in your mouth and at what amount, we can come up with a treatment plan that’s right for you. For example, this information can help us select the right antibiotic for you. We highly recommend this non-invasive test if you have gum disease that has not responded to previous treatment.
The OraRisk® HPV test can tell if you have an HPV infection in your mouth. If you do, you may have a greater risk of getting HPV-related oral cancer, which is often transmitted through oral-sexual contact. Like most cancers, it’s important to detect oral cancer early. If we know you have an HPV infection, we can watch you very closely for signs of oral cancer. We suggest you consider having this non-invasive test if you are a non-smoker and don’t drink a lot.
These tests are performed non-invasively using a saliva sample, which is collected in our office. The sample is easy and fast to collect. Simply swish a sterile saline (salt) solution in your mouth and spit it into a container. The sample is then sent out for testing. When the results come back, your dentist will initially read you your results are and what they mean to your oral health.