Pregnancy Risk and Periodontal Disease
Salivary diagnostics in the dental office are becoming an irreplaceable tool for monitoring the underlying health of the gums and bones of the mouth. With a simple salivary sample, we are able to determine not only the infection of periodontal disease present in the mouth but also the risk for systemic diseases throughout the body that result from periodontal disease.
At Origin Dental Wellness, the process begins in the hygiene appointment, which we call an Oral Wellness Assessment, but is otherwise known as a tooth cleaning everywhere else. Before the hygienist begins the process of cleaning the teeth, a sample of plaque from the patient’s mouth is placed on a microscope slide. The slide is then placed in a phase contrast microscope and viewed at 40 times magnification. The hygienist and the patient are then both able to visibly identify bacteria swimming around on the microscope slide. The hygienist is then able to take the opportunity to discuss with the patient the implications of the various bacteria present and the overall health implications of that bacteria. If the presence of pathogenic bacteria are noticed, a salivary diagnostic test will be recommended.
The salivary diagnostic test is incredibly important in order to determine involved risk for overall health complications such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease and dementia, as well as risk of having a preterm birth while pregnant.
Pregnancy risk and periodontal disease have long been known to be interrelated. However, with salivary diagnostics, this risk can be ascertained early. If a microscopic examination reveals disease-causing bacteria, and then a salivary diagnostic test is performed, the recommended treatments will not only improve the health of the mother but also ensure that she has a healthier pregnancy. This can drastically decrease mom’s risk for developing gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, delivering a low birth weight baby, or experiencing a preterm delivery. Because of the amazing benefits to simply knowing if the bacteria are present in the mouth, salivary diagnostic testing is highly recommended for our expectant mothers.