A few weeks ago I wrote about the relationship between gum disease, cholesterol, and inflammation which motivated me to go to the dentist for a long overdue visit. This week I want to go over the results of the MyPerioPath test.
The reason I wanted to get the MyPerioPath was to have a better understanding of what’s happening with my oral biome. I wanted to know if I had any bacteria that could potentially explain my elevated cholesterol and Lp-PLA2. I also wanted to know if there were organisms that were putting me at risk for other diseases.
When I spoke to the dentist about this, he was impressed with my understanding of the matter, and explained that what usually happens with the MyPerioPath is that we first get a baseline test. Then, we try out an intervention and test again in 6-8 weeks to see if there has been any change in the biome. If not, then we try another intervention that is more aggressive, like a mouthwash that contains bleach or chlorhexidine, or possibly even antibiotics. Then we test again after 6-8 weeks.
I should also mention that the cost of the exam isn’t cheap! It comes out to around $200 which includes the test itself and the collection fee. AND it’s not covered by dental insurance. So yeah. Just something to keep in mind.
You can click on the images to make them bigger in case the font is too small to read.
Result: Positive – 4 pathogenic bacteria reported above threshold
Bacterial Risk: High – Very strong evidence of increased risk for attachment loss
Looks like my oral biome isn’t looking too hot and colonized by a lot of strange sounding critters that I’ve never heard of.
The dentist actually provided me with an extra handout detailing the disease these organisms are associated with:
So it looks like my mouth is putting me at risk for infective endocarditis, brain abscesses, coronary artery plaques, aneurysms, pre-term births, pre-eclampsia, respiratory disease, and diabetes.
Well… at least we can cross off pre-term birth and pre-eclampsia from the list on account of my not having a uterus… but still, it doesn’t look pretty.
In the MyPerioPath report there is also a nice section describing the treatment possibilities
- Office periodontal therapy: protocols to disrupt biofilm and reduce pathogens
- Systemic antibiotic option to augment therapy at clinician’s discretion – including a Chlorehexidine mouthwash, local antibiotic like Arestin, or oral antibiotics like Amoxicillin AND Metronidazole.
- No thank you! This will definitely be a last resort for me.
- Home care which currently includes:
I’m not entirely sure if I’m going to do a repeat MyPerioPath or not, mostly due to the cost of the test AND the cost of the dentist who doesn’t accept insurance.
I mean, if I continue with my home regimen and there isn’t anymore bleeding at the gums to indicate biofilm re-accumulation, I’m thinking I can wait at least until my next dental visit to reasses my gums.
If my gum health has improved, then ok, no point in retesting. If not, then ok, there might be a good reason to retest.
I also plan to recheck my cholesterol and Lp-PLA2. If those numbers improve then ok, I probably don’t need to test again, if not then maybe I should.
I guess I still have another 4-6 weeks to decide.
What do you think?
*Image found here