Oral DNA Saliva Testing

Tucson’s health-centered dentist, Dr. Jay Lopez, strives to comprehensively evaluate and treat the oral health of all his patients. One of the services he offers is Oral DNA Saliva Testing. To do this, Dr. Lopez partners with OralDNA Labs. From a sample of your saliva, the lab can determine which harmful bacteria are present and the amount of the bacteria. Your saliva will be collected by swishing a small amount of sterile saline solution in your mouth and spitting it in a funnel. Dr. Lopez will send your sample to the lab. When the lab results come in, you will be informed of the results.

Certain bacteria cause gum inflammation (gingivitis). Different bacteria cause gum and bone disease (periodontitis). There also are genetic predispositions that can make you more susceptible to periodontitis—and, with Oral DNA Saliva Testing, we can test for the genetic biomarker IL-6. Based on the results of the saliva tests, Dr. Lopez can prescribe bacteria-specific antibiotics and a schedule of recall appointments for dental cleanings and other periodontal treatment if more advanced treatment is indicated.

Should you have Oral DNA saliva testing?

Scientific studies have made clear that the bacteria in your mouth enter your bloodstream and are carried to all the organs of your body. Certain oral bacteria can increase your risk of many systemic diseases. By reducing the harmful bacteria colonizing in the periodontal gum and bone tissue, around the roots of your teeth, you are not only reducing the risk of severe periodontal infection, gum recession, and tooth loss. You are also lowering the risk of systemic inflammatory diseases. These inflammatory diseases include heart disease, stroke, diabetes, metabolic disease, rheumatoid arthritis, certain cancers, and more. Read Dr. Lopez’s article about Gum Disease and Cardiovascular Disease and his article about Diabetes and Gum Disease.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that more than 50% of all U.S. citizens have gum disease. If gum disease is not effectively treated, these individuals are at high risk of advanced periodontitis. Because oral DNA saliva testing is relatively low cost, it is an invaluable diagnostic tool that can save your life.

Each time you come to our office, we will inquire about any changes in your health and medications. And, we will be looking for the signs of periodontal inflammation. If you have gum disease, Dr. Lopez may recommend oral DNA testing, depending on how advanced the inflammation is, if professional dental cleaning has not made a difference (i.e., your gum disease has not responded to initial treatment), or if gum inflammation frequently occurs in your mouth. If you have heart disease, diabetes, or another systemic inflammatory disease, he may also recommend routine testing, as certain bacteria can make these conditions worse.

What Specific Tests Are Available?

  • MyPerioPath® is the most widely used and Dr. Lopez relies on it for early warning of oral pathogens, personalization of the periodontal treatment he plans for patients, and identification of related systemic health risks. Click here to see a sample MyPerioPath® report.
  • Alert 2™ combines MyPeriodPath® with a second test, MyPeriodID® IL-6 to determine the nucleotide sequence at one region of the Interleukin 6 gene (IL-6), a key marker of a person’s inherited immune system and inflammation response. If you have this biomarker, throughout your lifetime, you will be at greater risk for chronic periodontitis, which increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes, arthritis, and some cancers. Knowing that you have this biomarker will make you extra vigilant with home care, periodontal assessments, dental cleanings, and treatment of gum disease. The results of your test will enable Dr. Lopez to individualize a plan for your oral health management. Click here to see a sample Alert 2™ report.
  • Celsus One™ evaluates 8 gene markers related to inflammatory response. The results of this test and the genetic counselors at OralDNA Labs can be of help to Dr. Lopez and your medical physicians as they plan your treatment. Patients with diagnosed cardiovascular disease, diabetes or immune disorders may want to immediately proceed with this testing. Click here to see a sample Celsus One™ report.
  • MyPeriodID® combines MyPerioID® IL-1 and MyPerioID® IL-6 to identify individual genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease. With this information, Dr. Lopez establish which patients are at increased risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response and can personalize therapy and treatment. Click here to see a sample MyPerioID® IL-1 report. Click here to see a sample MyPeriodID® IL-6 report.
  • OraRisk HPV® enables Dr. Lopez to establish whether you are at increased risk for oral cancer, based on whether specific types of oral HPV are present in your saliva. Early detection of HPV through saliva testing is important, because early oral HPV infections do not typically cause any clinical signs or symptoms.

If you are interested in oral DNA saliva testing, you may want to become a patient of Dr. Jay Lopez. Your interest in achieving optimal oral and systemic health means a lot to us. We welcome your call.