Nearly half (46%) of all adults aged 30 years or older show signs of gum disease; severe gum disease affects about 9% of adults.
Why Screen with OraPath?
OraPath improves patient care when paired with periodontal therapy, at an affordable cost.
Results are available to patients and providers within forty-eight hours after receipt of the sample.
OraPath is easy to use, with no required mouth rinse or cumbersome patient requirements.
The test is designed to provide accurate and sensitive results.
How does OraPath salivary diagnostics work, and how should it be utilized for patient care?
OraPath salivary testing isolates the five most common periodontal pathogens from a small sample of saliva.
Ideally, saliva samples should be collected at home by the patient, first thing in the morning before rinsing, brushing, flossing, eating, or drinking.
Patients should not have had any antibiotic treatment within the last six weeks.
Salivary diagnostics may be implemented as a baseline record for all existing and new dental patients or for patients planning to have general or oral surgical procedures completed.
No dental cleaning or dental hygiene therapies other than evaluation and assessment should be provided prior to testing as this could disrupt the oral microbiome and skew the data, rendering the test results inaccurate.
Simple Tests, Big Results
The OraPath 5Plex test is engineered to detect five high-risk pathogens linked to the onset of Gingivitis, Periodontitis, Periimplantitis, and systemic inflammation. A high count of these bacteria can lead to implant failure, tooth loss, or bone loss, and may result in severe health issues if left untreated.
Salivary testing by OraPath offers insights into the specific pathogens contributing to a patient’s disease. By interpreting these results and following a structured treatment protocol, including the use of antibiotics when necessary, you can achieve positive outcomes in restoring oral health.
The insights gained from these tests can also predict the success of oral surgical procedures like implant placements, grafting, and tooth extractions. By reducing the bacterial or viral load before surgery, the risk of post-operative complications is minimized. The OraPath report details the levels of five oral pathogens associated with periodontal disease. If any of these pathogens exceed a specific limit, a systemic antibiotic may be recommended.
Salivary Diagnostics: Benefits Beyond Oral Health
How do OraPath diagnostics work?
The OraPath 5-plex bacterial pathogen assay, utilizes quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) to detect bacterial DNA for Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans, Poryphyromonas gingivalis, Tannerella forsythia, Treponema denticola, and Fusobacterium nucleatum.
This diagnostic method is highly specific due to the use of DNA sequences that are unique to each organism, and it is also highly sensitive due to amplification that is intrinsic to the qPCR process.
For each cycle on a qPCR run, DNA in the patient sample are rapidly amplified through this doubling process until the species-specific probe reaches a detectable limit. By comparing the cycle number (Ct value) where the sample reaches a detectable threshold to a standard curve of known DNA concentrations, we can calculate an approximate value for the concentration of bacteria in the original saliva sample (copies/mL).
Why are salivary diagnostics used?
Salivary diagnostics allow for detection of specific pathogens which are typically present in patients with periodontal infections.
By treating these infections with antibiotics therapy in conjunction with scaling and root planing, more predictable, successful treatment outcomes are achieved.
When should salivary diagnostics be implemented?
Salivary diagnostics should be implemented for:
- Patients who report bleeding with brushing/flossing
- Patients who have bleeding upon probing
- Establishing a baseline record for all new patients
- Before implant placement or dental surgical procedures, such as gingival or connective tissue grafts
- Before beginning cancer treatment or bone density treatment
- Before general surgical procedures
- Patients with elevated risk factors for periodontal or systemic health concerns, such as:
- History of smoking
- Previous periodontal issues
- Autoimmune disease
- High number of dental restorations
- Existing dental implants
- Patients with elevated risk of colorectal cancer
IMMYLabs does not provide professional medical advice. This information should not replace your independent clinical judgment in diagnosing and treating patients.
Properly Implementing Periodontal Assessment Protocol
Patients should begin with salivary diagnostic tests as part of a comprehensive treatment plan to accurately determine their oral health condition. When setting up a periodontal guideline for your clinic, it’s crucial for all practitioners to recognize that bleeding from minor triggers (such as probing or when patients report bleeding during regular brushing and flossing) signals an inflammatory reaction linked to active infection. This inflammation shifts the patient’s health condition from a healthy to a diseased state.
Increased instances of bleeding suggest a worsening of the disease, requiring timely treatment from your clinical team. If both tissue inflammation and bone loss are present, the patient requires periodontal therapy. This includes scaling and root planing, therapeutic rinses, chemotherapeutic agents, and potentially laser treatments for gum restoration. It’s essential to note that both gingivitis and periodontal therapies should be initiated after salivary diagnostic testing to ensure both the patient and provider are informed on the best treatment approach. Patients should have a follow-up appointment within six weeks to ensure they’re effectively removing plaque at home, and this should continue until the inflammation is fully resolved.
If inflammation is still present during the follow-up appointment, additional salivary testing should be performed, and the patient treated for disruption of the biofilm until the cessation of inflammation. Additional antibiotic therapy may be necessary if indicated by repeated salivary test results.
A recall interval should be initiated once patients’ oral health is reestablished following the six weeks re-evaluation. The recall interval is contingent upon risk factors for reactivation of disease, including patients’ ability to maintain home care and any underlying health conditions that might reactivate the disease. Patients with elevated risk factors might need to be evaluated more frequently.
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