Before the COVID-19 outbreak, at-home testing for conditions or diseases was limited to only a few. However, since then, researchers have found better ways to use saliva to test for common issues, including gingivitis.
But why is this breakthrough for gum disease so important? First, you need to understand more about the infection and what at-home gingivitis testing can do for you and your smile.
What Is Gingivitis?
Known as the first stage of gum disease, gingivitis can be easy to overlook for someone who is unfamiliar with the symptoms. The inflammatory infection begins with red, sensitive, and swollen gums that tend to bleed with little provocation.
However, as gum disease progresses, these bacteria could not only lead to tooth loss but also spread to other areas of the body, such as the heart, brain, kidneys, and more, increasing the risk of serious and potentially life-threatening outcomes.
What Is an At-Home Gingivitis Test?
In recent years, at-home testing has become much more common. In addition to pregnancy, other conditions can now at least be screened from the comfort of your own home, including gingivitis. Recent breakthroughs at the University of Cincinnati mean that at-home gum disease testing could be coming on the market in the near future. Basically, you would take some of your saliva and test it for the markers of early stages of gum disease.
Why Would I Need or Want an At-Home Gingivitis Test?
As previously mentioned, gum disease can become quite damaging to your smile as well as the rest of your body, but unfortunately, it afflicts many people often without their knowledge. Did you know that nearly half of American adults above the age of 30 have an advanced stage of gum disease?
An at-home gingivitis test could alert you about the disease early on—before it causes tooth loss and other health problems. Knowing you have gingivitis could help you correct insufficient hygiene habits at home and fight the disease.
Will an At-Home Gingivitis Test Replace Going to the Dentist?
Although this cutting-edge at-home test would potentially enable you to identify and overcome gingivitis through better daily hygiene care, this test does not fully take the place of six-month dental checkups. Your dentist looks for more than just gum disease; they also examine you for abnormal soft tissue cells that could be cancerous as well as for cavities, bite misalignment, and more.
In addition, the professional cleaning you receive at these regular appointments removes hardened plaque, which is difficult to handle on your own. In other words, these visits still play a critical role in keeping gingivitis in check. Also, at more advanced stages, gum disease must be rectified professionally by your dentist with periodontal treatment.
These at-home gingivitis tests may not be available yet, but they could soon help you stay more informed about your oral and overall health and help you practice better oral hygiene. As a result, you can avoid the devastating effects of gum disease and keep on smiling!
About the Practice
Brooks Dental proudly stays up to date with the most cutting-edge technology available in the field. In fact, we use a cavity detection system, digital impressions, and cone beam scanners (just to name a few) to improve our patients’ experience and to help them enjoy a healthier, stronger, more brilliant smile. If you are curious about breakthroughs in the dental field, or if you think you might have gum disease, contact our Winthrop office online or call us at 617-846-1811 for an appointment.