There are over 600 different types of bacteria found in the mouth, most of which play a very positive role in our health. There are a dozen or so identified as “pathogens”, or unhealthy bacteria, when they are heavily concentrated. These pathogens are associated with periodontal disease and tooth infections (decay and abcesses). Research has shown that oral pathogens can get into the bloodstream when mouth infections are present. These bacteria can influence a variety of very significant conditions including contributing to arterial plaque, heart attacks, strokes, body wide inflammation, and pregnancy complications.
When there are signs of oral inflammation or infection, or a family history of periodontal or vascular disease, a test for the presence of oral pathogens is recommended. A sample of saliva is collected and sent to the laboratory for analysis. The results will guide any recommendations for treating high levels of discovered oral pathogens. We screen every one of our patients for oral infections and will make the recommendation for salivary testing when appropriate. Please ask us if you have further questions.
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