We have reopened for regular dental appointments. In light of Covid-19 public health concerns, there will be some changes to our usual protocols. Click here to learn more.

Biofilm DNA Testing

Do you ever feel self-conscious about breath odor or are experiencing a bad taste in your mouth? Have you ever had gums that bleed during brushing or flossing and accept this as a normal occurrence?

If you have answered yes to any of the above, then Biofilm DNA testing may be for you! With the help of our dental hygiene team, OraVital Corporation, and Dr. Glogauer’s Periodontal lab at The University of Toronto Faculty of Dentistry, we can get to the “root” cause of these symptoms for you.


Unpleasant tastes, mouth odors, and bleeding gums are not a healthy/normal condition.


The Initial Assessment

Our dental practice strives to treat patients as a whole and not just as a mouth with teeth. The oral-systemic link supported by evidence-based research has expanded our knowledge that the mouth is in fact a portal to the rest of the body. The mouth can be a huge source of bacteria which in turn can trigger chronic inflammatory immune responses in our body. There are now clear links between periodontal disease (bleeding gums) and many chronic conditions such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

When a patient visits our office for dental hygiene services one of the first assessments our dental team will complete is a periodontal assessment. This assessment includes collecting data about the gum and bone that surrounds our teeth. We use a gum ruler that uses millimeters as the unit of measurement and we assess 360 degrees around each tooth.

During this assessment we record 6 measurements per tooth as well as any recession, bleeding, mobility or furcation involvement (where the roots may split). This datasheet we create is an amazing tool to understand what each patient’s specific oral condition is. On top of that, we carefully inspect bone levels on x-rays to determine the amount of bone loss that has occurred, or if there is any pathology below the gums.


How to Tell if You’re a Candidate for Biofilm DNA Testing

In a healthy mouth, we would see no bleeding and measurements ideally ranging between 1-3mm. We start to become very concerned when patients show 8 points of bleeding or more. We know when we have reached this amount of inflammation and bleeding that the body has to fight an active infection day in and day out. This in turn can take away from our body’s ability to focus on keeping other body systems functioning in a healthy way. A patient in this type of situation would be an excellent candidate for Biofilm microbial DNA testing so we can tailor their dental hygiene care specifically to the pathogens found in their mouth to help arrest gum disease and create a healthy and stable oral environment.

Another consideration for Biofilm DNA testing would be a patient that has an existing chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, genetic susceptibility to gum disease, or an auto-immune disorder such as rheumatoid arthritis. We know these kinds of conditions or susceptibilities can lower our body’s ability to fight infection and these patients can find they have a more aggressive reaction to oral pathogens resulting in more gum and bone destruction versus an individual without these conditions.

Listen to what your mouth is saying.

Get to the root of the problem with Biofilm DNA Testing.

How Does DNA Biofilm Testing Work?

The DNA biofilm testing itself is virtually painless and occurs at chairside with our dental hygiene team members once it has been established active gum disease is present in the patient’s mouth. The testing involves sampling the bacteria in the 5 unhealthiest sites using fine paper points that are gently placed under the gum to absorb the bacteria that are living under the gum in the areas that are the most affected. A light scraping of bacteria off the top and sides of the tongue, as well as the lip fold, is also collected.

The testing takes roughly 10 minutes from start to finish and is sent to the University of Toronto for assessment. Results take approximately 2-3 weeks to return with a detailed report of what the findings were. The laboratory assesses for the 8 most destructive gum and tooth pathogens found in active periodontal disease and provides us with a quantitative reading with a bar graph of the results in each category. Along with specific pathogen results, OraVital creates a patient-specific treatment plan to treat and arrest the active gum infection to restore health to the oral cavity.

What We Do With the Results of Biofilm DNA Testing

Every treatment is specific to the pathogens found in the sample and typically includes prescribed oral rinses and potentially oral creams in conjunction with a very diligent oral hygiene routine at home. Thorough and frequent dental hygiene services are also required to be completed by the dental hygienist to set the patient up for success. Ultimately, the goal is not just to reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth, but to shift the population of bacteria to a healthier mix.

Adopting Biofilm DNA testing into our daily practice has been such an incredible tool to help our patients who are experiencing symptoms that typical dental hygiene services have not been successful in treating in the past.

If you think you have an active periodontal condition in your mouth or are experiencing unpleasant symptoms such as bad breath, bad taste, or bleeding gums, call our office today to see if you are a candidate for Biofilm DNA testing.

Ready to bring your smile back to glory?

Our Team is Ready to Guide You to Long-Lasting Oral Health