Your saliva is an important component of your mouth. It aids in breaking down foods early in the digestive process and makes swallowing much easier. It contains proteins that kill bacteria and minerals that help to remineralize your teeth. It works to keep your mouth at a neutral pH level. It is also essential for keeping your oral tissues moist, preventing them from drying out, and protecting them from bacterial attacks. In addition to all of these incredible functions, your saliva can also do something else. At OHIOSmiles, we perform oral DNA testing to diagnose overall health issues, including heart attack and stroke risk, and help you get the treatments you need.
What Is Oral DNA Testing?
Oral DNA testing, often called salivary testing, is a diagnostic tool that is regulated by the FDA. The tool uses your saliva to determine the presence of oral health issues such as gum disease, and general health issues such as heart attack and stroke. How does it do this though? Your DNA contains biomarkers, which are traceable substances. Some of the biomarkers that occur in your saliva are linked to certain oral issues.
Oral DNA tests are genetic tests, which means that the DNA contained in your saliva is analyzed to confirm or predict the presence of a disease. The saliva can be used to make a definitive diagnosis if you are exhibiting specific symptoms. Your saliva can also be used to predict your risk of developing certain types of oral health, or other health, issues before symptoms ever make an appearance.
Why Is Saliva So Important?
Your saliva is crucial for the health of your mouth. It keeps your mouth moist, kills bacteria, and improves the digestive process. It is also a mirror of your overall health. The saliva contains proteins as well as biochemicals, which also be found in the blood. Both proteins and chemicals can be linked to some different issues such as gum disease, heart disease, diabetes, and more. Looking at the saliva can give us significant insight into the condition of your whole-body health.
What Are The Benefits Of Oral DNA Testing?
Oral DNA testing has many different benefits. One of the biggest benefits is that provides an alternative to traditional blood tests. Instead of drawing blood with a needle, all we need is to swab or cheek or take a drop of saliva. This can be a major relief for patients who are queasy around blood or who do not like needles.
Other benefits of oral DNA testing include:
- Salivary tests are more affordable than blood tests.
- There is faster turnaround time.
- Rapid results mean that we can provide you with the treatment you need much quicker.
- Assessing your risk for oral health issues allows us to create a treatment plan to help protect your mouth. In preventing these issues from occurring, the risk of issues like heart disease and diabetes is reduced.
- We can determine if you have certain genetic markers that increase your risk for inflammation.
- We can determine the presence of the strains of HPV that increase your risk for oral cancer.
With oral DNA testing, we can detect the presence of oral, and overall, health issues before you even start to exhibit symptoms. This can then allow us to help you get the treatments you need to stop these issues in their tracks, preventing them from developing into something more severe. For more information on oral DNA testing, call OHIOSmiles today at (740) 439-2501.