MyPerioPath 8 Month Followup

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This past March I referenced a study linking gum disease to Alzheimer’s and concluded that I would just go ahead and get a followup MyPerioPath test done again.

I first came across MyPerioPath when I was exploring the links between gum disease, high cholesterol, and an elevated Lp-PLA2.  As a quick review, the MyPerioPath test is a way to sample the DNA of the oral biome.  It’s a painless test.  Go to the dentist, swish around some saline solution in your mouth for 30 seconds, and spit it out into a test tube.  The test tube gets shipped off and about a week later, you get the results.

The reason you’d want to know the consistency of your oral biome is because there have been many disease associated with certain virulant organisms, and understanding whether or not you have those strains, and to what degree you have them can help direct your treatment.

In fact, the most painful part of the whole process is that it’s not covered by insurance so it’s all out of pocket, all $180 of it.  On top of that, they charge a $20 collection fee.  This last $20 is probably what incensed me most about the whole thing, after all wasn’t I the one doing all the work by swishing and spitting and getting drool all over myself?

In retrospect, now that I’m writing this 3 months later and my indignation has subsided, $20 seems reasonable since it probably covers the cost of shipping biohazardous material across the country, but at the time I was pretty annoyed by the charge.

Here is a graphic the dental office provided me when I got the test the last time:

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Here is the report I received.  You can click on the images to see larger versions of them.

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I’ve included the pathogen graphic from the previous report for easier comparison, but if you’d like to see the prior complete report, you can go here.

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April 2016:

Result: Pathogenic Bacteria Detected, 2 Above Threshold
Bacterial Risk: HIGH – Very strong evidence of increased risk for attachment loss

July 2015

Result: POSITIVE – 4 Pathogenic Bacteria Reported Above Threshold
Bacterial Risk: HIGH – Very strong evidence of increased risk for attachment loss

You can see just by comparing the graphics that while I still have populations of the big baddy, Aggregatibacter actinomycetecomitans, the amount is far less than before, previously 10^7 and now 10^4, which makes it just above threshold.

I still have high levels of Capnocytophaga species, but it’s labeled as a low risk pathogen.  My moderate risk pathogens have all decreased below threshold which is good, although now have a new population of Eubacteriam nodatum.

What Am I Going To Do About This?

After receiving the results and getting cleaned by the hygienist, the hygienist recommended that I get deep cleanings in all four quadrants of my mouth, antibiotics applied to certain teeth, laser treatment, and a repeat MyPerioPath after everything.

Here is the cost breakdown she provided:

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TOTAL COST: $2,355.00

Spending over two grand on this is definitely out of my budget, so after the initial sticker shock, I politely declined.   Part of me wondered if she would be receiving some sort of commission or incentive for pushing this.  I show up for a routine cleaning and a MyPerioPath, and walk away with a recommendation for over $2000 worth of treatment… which just didn’t smell right to me.  I’ve never been told I needed deep cleaning before so I was a skeptical, especially since this was coming from the hygienist and not the dentist.

After doing some research it seems that dentists paying hygienists based on commission and offering bonuses for services they recommend is a thing:

…some deep cleanings are necessary to treat gum disease, but adds that some medical consulting firms advise dentists to offer deep cleanings to improve their bottom line. He says hygienists also perform deep cleanings, freeing the dentist to do more complex, and expensive, procedures. But Lim says practices that pay hygienists on commission, or offer bonuses for services they recommend, encourage unnecessary treatment. “Monetary incentives influence [hygienists] to overtreat,” Lim says.

At this point, I’ll just continue with what I’ve been doing:

Now that I’m out here on the West Coast, I’ll need to find a new dentist which will give me the chance for a second opinion.

*Image taken from here

8 Responses to MyPerioPath 8 Month Followup

  1. Janet Bailey says:

    I’m curious if you have tried either oil pulling w/ coconut oil. Or using coconut oil -you can brush with it. OR you should check out for other natural treatments.

  2. Richard says:

    Oil pulling would seem like a smart and cheap experiment. Pull for a couple of months and retest.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      I was doing it for a big, then lost momentum with the move. I think you’re right in that it would be a good thing to try out again.

  3. Janet Bailey says:

    And read entire page for others remedies.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      You’re right! There ARE a lot of natural remedies. I think I’ll add in some oil pulling into my daily regimen.

  4. Angela says:

    Have you tried looking for a biological dentist?

  5. Janet B says:

    A couple other thoughts. They sell something called Periogen on Amazon, may be of interest.
    Also, some tips, one from my dental hygienist, after brushing, take a Soft tooth brush and gently massage your gums for a couple minutes each day. Helps me greatly.
    Another from a tip given on TV. Before flossing, or whatever you use between teeth, take a tiny bit of tooth paste between your fingers and rub floss through it before flossing. You get tooth paste Between teeth that way. Keeps things cleaner.

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