Bacteria, or plaque bacteria, can cause tooth decay and gum disease. This is especially true when patients do not practice good oral hygiene habits. It is essential to test for specific bacteria in the mouth to prevent the spread of harmful bacteria and the complications that ensue.
When too much bacteria is present, the dentist will recommend the patient undergo a deep cleaning treatment. At Wesley Yemoto DDS, deep cleaning aims to eliminate all bacteria and plaque from the mouth to prevent future problems.
Tests Used to Diagnose an Infection
To diagnose an infection, the periodontist will take a sample from the gum of the affected area and test it. The bacteria that caused the disease will already be present in the sample; this means the test will not take too long to complete. To perform culture analysis, the sample will be incubated in a unique media that helps the bacteria to grow. This can take anywhere from one to two days to obtain a result, but it is highly accurate. In some cases, a blood sample may be drawn to test for the number of white blood cells in the body. This is typically done if a patient does not respond to antibiotic treatment and another cause of the inflammation has been detected.
Once the cause of the problem is discovered, the treatment can begin. If the gum disease is caught early, a simple deep cleaning procedure may be all that is necessary to reduce the effects of the disease. On the other hand, if the disease has progressed too far, surgery may be required to eliminate the bacterial infection and restore the patient’s oral health.
Why Is Bacterial Testing Necessary?
The anaerobic bacteria that produce the acids that cause tooth decay and periodontal disease thrive in the areas where your teeth and gums meet. These bacteria use food particles as fuel, causing plaque to form. Plaque not removed with daily brushing will harden into tartar that attaches to the teeth and roots below the gum line. Once tartar has formed, professional cleaning is the only way to remove the material. In addition to eliminating these substances from your teeth, your dentist will check for signs of other oral health issues, such as oral cancer or gum disease. Patients are screened for oral cancer during routine cleanings and checkups to help catch any early warning signs of the disease in its earliest stages. If a patient does show signs of the disease, early detection dramatically increases their chances of survival.
It is essential to schedule regular checkups with your general dentist to monitor your dental health and treat any infections as soon as possible. For the best dental care, visit Wesley Yemoto DDS at 4860 Cherry Avenue #F, San Jose, CA 95118, or call (408) 266-9957.