This summer my office added the My Perio Path test from Oral DNA Labs to our tool kit for improving our ability to diagnose and treat periodontal diseases.Oral DNA Labs also offers “My Perio ID PST” for genetic testing of the patient’s risk for periodontal disease, as well as “ORARISK HPV’ testing to detect the human papilloma virus which can increase cancer risk.
I use “My Perio Path” for a baseline and then as a follow up test after treatment to determine our progress in controlling the bacteria that cause periodontal disease. While there are well over 500 bacterial species that can call the mouth home, only about a dozen are well documented to cause periodontal disease. Because the bacteria are anaerobic (don’t need oxygen to live or even may be killed by it), they are notoriously difficult to collect and grow in lab culture. Oral DNA Labs has developed very sensitive tests of the bacteria’s own DNA that can tell us if these bacteria are present and in what numbers. The sample is collected by swishing a small amount of salt water for 30 seconds. Sounds like the TV show CSI right? The bad guys here are bacteria, though. I use the test results to help shape our treatment plan and to select the most appropriate antibiotics for use in treatment.