What is Salivary Testing and what can you learn from my saliva?
Another way we are different from other offices is that, at Harmony Dental Wellness, we pay attention to saliva. Saliva is a vital component to your oral health! Of course, there are the obvious benefits of lubricating your food and helping you speak, but did you know that saliva does so much more?
Testing For Gum Disease
Your saliva is a fantastic buffer to neutralize the acids made by bacteria and helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Throughout your experience with us, we will monitor your saliva. At your first visit, we measure the quantity and consistency of your saliva and ensure that adequate saliva is being produced from all three major saliva ducts in your mouth. At all hygiene appointments, we measure the pH of your saliva to screen for reflux, buffer capacity (quality) and other possible issues. If periodontal (gum) problems are present, we may recommend salivary testing.
A simple sample of your saliva can tell us what kinds of bacteria live in your mouth and how many of them there are. That means we will know which antibiotic, if any, is best for your mouth. Dr. Farahani always tries to avoid the use of antibiotics unless absolutely necessary and she believes that saliva testing allows her to choose a medication that will be minimally impacting to the rest of the body. Use of the correct antibiotic in conjunction with gum therapy can result in a reduction of your harmful bacterial levels to below your body's reactive threshold levels.
In some situations, we may recommend the use of that same saliva sample to screen for genetic markers or viruses, such as HPV, that would indicate higher risk for you of diseases such as cancer. While most people think of HPV as being related to cervical cancer, it more commonly causes throat cancer.
We are always looking for ways to prevent disease! Call our office if you have any further questions.