Do you have periodontal (gum) disease? The symptoms of periodontal disease unlike most diseases
is rarely felt. You can be in the process of loosing all your teeth and not even know it.
But what causes periodontal disease? Did you say plaque? If so, you are atleast
partially correct. Through recent research conducted in Philadelphia and Boston, it has
been discovered that many different types of bacteria (or NON-PLAQUE) bacteria can
cause the loss of teeth. These NON-PLAQUE bacteria, unlike plaque bacteria, are usually
tissue-invasive (they live INSIDE the gum tissue itself). What does this mean? It means
that flossing, brushing and frequent cleanings cannot always assure that you will have
your teeth for the rest of your life unless you can also avoid these
How do you know if you have these BAD BUGS? ONE TEST: THE
The DNA probe is taken using paper points as seen on the right. The
blue vial at the right contains a special fluid medium into which the paper point with the
sample is placed. You may have recalled seeing these vials when they were used to
collect O.J.Simpson's blood during his trial .
As you can see from the photo on your right, the paper point is place
into the infected gum pocket. Often the area is inflamed, meaning the pocket bleeds
readily when the probe is inserted.
The photo at the right shows the paper point after it is removed from the
pocket. This pocket is about 8 mm. in depth. The point is now saturated with
bacteria from deep within the pocket and from inside the gum tissues.
Finally, the paper point is inserted and stored in the DNA vial. It is now
ready to be sent to the Lab for analysis which takes about two weeks.
Dna testing is very
accurate. The results as seen on the right, shows the bacteria A.
actinomycetamcomitans. One key advantage is that the bacteria do not need to be
living to get results. Many
bacteria die in transit to the lab which is often located out of state.