OralDNA Testing

Today, DNA testing is frequently being used by consumers as a means to discover specific details about their ancestry and, while these results are interesting, we can attain much more from an individual’s DNA: For example, crucial health information can easily be obtained with just a single saliva sample. Using the revolutionary OralDNA® Test, hidden pathogens that have the ability to negatively impact your oral and systemic health can be detected. Dr. William P. Lamas is a periodontist in Miami who offers this innovative new OralDNA® Test at his office in Miami.

Periodontal Disease: Beyond the Teeth and Gums

Most people know that periodontal disease negatively affects the teeth and gums; however, the bacteria found in periodontal disease can also increase an individual’s risk of developing diabetes, heart disease, as well as conditions responsible for the onset of dementia. Furthermore, periodontal disease can negatively affect pregnancy leading to a premature birth and low birth weight.

After obtaining the results from a patient’s OralDNA® Test, Dr. Lamas may be able to treat more than just the patient’s smile. Using the information from the test, he will know which approach is correct: Therefore, Dr. William Lamas can treat the periodontal disease while drastically decreasing the risk of an individual developing a serious health problem directly related to his or her periodontal infection.

Additional Benefits Attained from an OralDNA® Test in Miami

One of the major benefits of the OralDNA® Test is its ability to determine an individual’s probability for developing certain conditions that can affect the health of his or her entire body. Knowing which pathogens are present and the potential severity of an individual’s periodontal disease can provide a great deal of insight into how to prevent the onset of periodontal issues or treat periodontal issues that already exist.

At Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas can use the innovative OralDNA® Test to:

  • Find the cause of a variety of chronic problems

    – using the OralDNA® Test, Dr. Lamas can determine the cause of chronic gum disease, problematic halitosis or a chronic infection.

  • Identify the human papillomavirus (HPV)

    – the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that at least 20 million people in the U.S. are infected with the human papillomavirus, with approximately 6 million new cases annually. Specific kinds of oral HPV are considered a serious risk factor for the development of oral cancers; therefore, early detection is vital. Since oral HPV infections are usually asymptomatic (have no signs or symptoms) in their early stages, an OralDNA® Test that includes the OraRisk® Oral HPV test can be used to screen and rule-out or identify oral HPV.

  • Detect genetic markers indicating if an individual is prone to inflammation

    – if an individual has the genetic markers indicating the he or she is prone to inflammation, the patient needs to know that these genetic markers are closely linked to cardiovascular disease (heart disease) and diabetes. In addition, these genetic markers indicate that untreated periodontal disease is likely to become severe. The benefit an individual receives from the results of the OralDNA® Test is knowing that he or she tests positive for these genetic markers and that lifestyle changes need to be made as soon as possible before these conditions become a problem.

Obtaining a Saliva Sample for an OralDNA® Test at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

When a patient asks Dr. William Lamas to perform an OralDNA® Test, the test consists of the:

  • MyPerioPath® test

    – to detect and measure problematic oral bacteria.

  • OraRisk® HPV

    – to determine if the human papillomavirus (HPV) known to cause oropharyngeal cancers is present, as well as various other oral diagnostics.

  • Celsus One™

    – to ascertain if the patient has genetic markers for inflammation.

If you decide that you would like Dr. William P. Lamas to perform an OralDNA® Test, he will need to obtain a sample of your DNA, which can easily and painlessly be accomplished: All Dr. Lamas needs is a sample of your saliva. He uses a saline (salt water) rinse to obtain a sample of your saliva.

You will rinse your mouth with the salt water solution for 30 seconds and then spit it into a test tube. Your sample is sent to the OralDNA® lab, where it will be analyzed. The lab will use your DNA sample to measure the amount and types of bacteria living in your mouth, and body. Using this information, a report is generated that outlines which pathogens are living within your system, the diseases these pathogens are known to cause, the potential severity of these diseases as well as any genetic markers that indicate you have an increased risk of developing certain conditions.
Gathering this information can be useful in understanding the issues we are dealing with or the conditions we should watch for as well as assist us in determining the best treatments to utilize.

Periodontal Disease and Your Health: What You Need to Know

Pregnancy

Studies indicate that maternal periodontal disease may be an independent risk factor for preterm delivery as well as low birth weight. It is believed that the periodontal infection may negatively affect the fetal-placental unit, causing adverse pregnancy outcomes. Preterm delivery and a low birth weight can lead to infant death. As such, periodontal assessment prior to and during pregnancy should be considered as part of pregnancy health care protocols. At Lamas Dental Specialists, Dr. William Lamas can collect a saliva sample to run an OralDNA® Test and determine if the bacteria associated with periodontal disease is present: If it is, a personalized dental treatment plan can be created to address the disease.

Stroke

Stroke and heart disease are similar in that they can both emerge from a mixture of genes, upbringing, environment and lifestyle choices. In the U.S., nearly 800,000 people have a stroke each year and approximately 140,000 of these Americans die.

A stroke can lead to brain cell death that results in disability. A stroke occurs when blood flow to the brain is interrupted: Within just minutes, brain cells start to die.

There are three types of strokes the:

  • ischemic;
  • transient ischemic attack; and
  • hemorrhagic.

The most common form of stroke is the ischemic: This type of stroke occurs when a blood clot causes a blockage in one of the brain’s blood vessels.

If a brief interruption of the blood supply to the brain occurs, this type of stroke is referred to as a transient ischemic attack (TIAs).

A hemorrhagic stroke is caused by a blood vessel breaking and then bleeding into the brain.

The symptoms of a stroke may include the sudden onset of:

  • confusion;
  • difficulty speaking or understanding others;
  • weakness or numbness in the leg, arm or face (especially when only one side of the body is affected);
  • difficulty walking;
  • loss of coordination or balance;
  • dizziness;
  • problems seeing out of one or both eyes; and/or
  • a severe headache (with no known cause).

If you experience any of the symptoms listed above, seeking emergency medical treatment is vital.

Your OralDNA® Test results will help determine if you are at an increased risk for having a stroke and, if you are, you can make lifestyle choices to reduce the likelihood that you will suffer a stroke.

Heart Disease

According to the CDC, each year more than 600,000 people die of heart disease (that is one in every four deaths in the U.S.). Furthermore, heart disease is the major cause of disability and studies indicate that individuals with gum disease are nearly twice as likely to have heart disease.

Scientists believe that the bacteria responsible for causing gum disease enters into the bloodstream as an individual with infected, broken-down gums chews, brushes and flosses his or her teeth. As the body’s natural response to infection is inflammation: Scientists theorize that as the oral bacteria travels throughout the bloodstream, inflammation occurs and arterial plaque forms. This theory is based on the fact that oral bacteria have been found in the fatty deposits of individuals with plaque buildup on the walls of their arteries.

Although there are numerous types of heart disease, the most common form is caused by a narrowing or blocking of the arteries responsible for supplying blood to the heart (i.e., coronary arteries). This form of heart disease is referred to as atherosclerosis or coronary artery disease (CAD) and happens gradually over time. CAD is the major reason that people suffer heart attacks. The results of your OralDNA® Test will indicate if the bacteria in your mouth are increasing your risk of developing heart disease and suffering a heart attack.

Here are some of the major warning signs of a heart attack:

  • pain or discomfort in the chest;
  • shortness of breath;
  • cold sweats;
  • pain or discomfort in the upper body (e.g., back, jaw, neck, arms and/or upper stomach);
  • feeling lightheaded; and/or
  • nausea.

If you experience any of these symptoms, seek medical treatment at your nearest emergency room.

Once you have your OralDNA® Test results, if you are at risk for heart disease, you can take steps to control the factors that increase your odds of suffering a heart attack.

Diabetes

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than 30 million Americans are living with diabetes and another 84 million Americans are living with prediabetes. Diabetes is a chronic condition that affects the body’s ability to turn the food an individual eats into energy.

The majority of the food we eat is broken down into glucose (i.e., sugar) and then released into the bloodstream. The pancreas creates the hormone insulin, which serves as the key to allow the sugar within the bloodstream to enter into the cells and be used as energy. When an individual has diabetes, the body either does not make enough insulin or cannot use the insulin that it does make properly.

When the supply of insulin is too low or the cells stop responding to the insulin in the bloodstream, the blood sugar level stays too high, which, over time, can lead to serious health issues, including heart disease, kidney disease and vision loss.

The signs and symptoms of type 2 diabetes, include:

  • extreme thirst;
  • frequent urination (especially at night);
  • blurred vision;
  • unintentional weight loss;
  • excessive hunger;
  • fatigue;
  • more infections than usual;
  • tingling and/or numbness in the hands, and/or feet;
  • slow healing; and/or
  • incredibly dry skin.

While there is currently no cure for diabetes, making healthy lifestyle choices, seeking self-management education for diabetes, taking medications and keeping your appointments with your physician can substantially reduce the impact that diabetes has on your daily life. If your OralDNA® Test indicates that you are considered high risk for the development of diabetes, you can learn how to lower your risk of developing the disease through diet and exercise.

Dementia

While dementia is not a specific disease, it describes a group of symptoms that affect an individual’s memory as well as his or her social and thinking abilities to the point that they interfere with the individual’s ability to function on a daily basis.

Memory loss in and of itself does not mean that an individual has dementia. The cause of the dementia determines whether the symptoms can be reversed. Alzheimer’s is the most common cause of progressive dementia in the elderly population.

Recognizing Dementia

Psychological changes:

  • depression;
  • personality changes;
  • anxiety;
  • hallucinations; and/or
  • inappropriate behavior.

Cognitive changes:

  • difficulty finding words and/or communicating;
  • memory loss (typically noticed by someone close to/familiar with the individual);
  • disorientation;
  • confusion;
  • difficulty with reasoning;
  • trouble handling complex tasks;
  • difficulty with motor function and coordination;
  • problems with organizing and planning; and/or
  • trouble solving problems.

The OralDNA® Test Offered at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami Can Determine the Bacteria Causing an Individual’s Periodontal Disease

Once the OralDNA® Test results are complete, Dr. William P. Lamas will know if the patient has the potential to suffer with severe periodontal disease. This allows him to formulate the patient a personalized treatment plan that is designed specifically to meet his or her needs.

Understanding Gum Disease

Gum disease occurs due to a buildup of the sticky, colorless substance that is referred to as biofilm (i.e., plaque). This substance is constantly forming on the teeth.

Plaque houses bacteria, which releases acids that attack the enamel of the teeth. The enamel is the protective barrier of the teeth; therefore, when this protective barrier is broken down, tooth decay is possible.

When the plaque is not removed through flossing and brushing on a daily basis, it hardens into calculus (i.e., tartar). Unless treatment to remove the tartar is sought through professional dental cleanings, as time passes, the bacteria not only infects the teeth and gums, but the gum tissue, and bone as well. Eventually, the teeth loosen and fall out or need to be extracted. Using the results attained from an OralDNA® Test in Miami, Dr. Lamas can determine which antibiotic will treat the infection the best.

There are four stages of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis

    – at this stage, the gums become inflamed due to a buildup of biofilm at the gumline. Bleeding during flossing and brushing may be present. If treatment is sought, any damage can be reversed because the connective tissue and bone have yet to be affected.

  • Mild periodontitis

    – once gum disease reaches this stage, the bone and gum tissue that are supporting the teeth are being attacked. While this stage is serious, if caught and addressed early, further damage can be prevented.

  • Moderate periodontitis

    – irreversible damage occurs at this stage of gum disease. Pockets may begin forming beneath the gumline. These pockets trap food particles and plaque, increasing bacterial growth in the mouth. Although any damage that has already occurred to the bone and fibers holding the teeth is irreversible, seeking proper dental care and improving at-home care may prevent further damage from occurring.

  • Severe periodontitis

    – this is the last stage of gum disease. The bone and tissues responsible for supporting the teeth are severely damaged, which can lead to teeth that are loose and/or shift. Aggressive treatment may be able to save the teeth; however, this is not always the case and extraction may be necessary.

Recognizing gum disease:

When gum disease is detected early on, it can be reversed; therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms listed below, contact Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami at 305-440-4114 to schedule an appointment.

Schedule an appointment if you notice that:

  • your gums bleed easily;
  • you have chronic bad breath;
  • your gums appear red and/or inflamed;
  • you have pus between your teeth and gums;
  • your gums are tender;
  • you constantly have a bad taste in your mouth;
  • your teeth fit together differently than they used to when you take a bite;
  • your gums bleed while you brush and/or floss;
  • your teeth appear longer; and/or
  • your gums have pulled away from your teeth, creating a pocket.

At his office in Miami, Dr. William P. Lamas can obtain a saliva sample and send it off to be evaluated at the OralDNA® Lab. The results will indicate which bacteria are attacking your teeth, bone and gums; thus, giving him the information he needs to prescribe an antibiotic that will successfully eliminate the bacteria that are wreaking havoc in your mouth.

Treating Gum Disease at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami

Many times, when an individual seeks treatment at the first signs of gum disease, reversal simply requires proper flossing and brushing, and biannual professional cleanings.

Even if you brush daily, biannual professional cleanings are essential because these cleanings are the only way that the tartar (hardened plaque) that has accumulated above and below your gum line can be removed. Furthermore, by scheduling biannual cleanings, Dr. Lamas and his dental staff at his office in Miami can keep a close eye on your oral health to ensure any issues are addressed before they progress into something more serious.

Personalized Treatment Plans in Miami

Although thousands of different kinds of bacteria reside in the mouth, seven of these are known to cause severe infections in the bones and gums surrounding the teeth. Whereas, previously determining which bacteria was causing the patient’s periodontal infection was challenging, today, Dr. William Lamas can order an OralDNA® Test to find out the specific type of bacteria causing a patient’s periodontal disease; thus, allowing him to create the patient a customized treatment plan specifically targeting the bacteria identified in the OralDNA® Test.

The patient’s personalized treatment plan may include antibiotic and non-surgical periodontal therapy. The OralDNA® Test is particularly important when determining which antibiotic will most effectively kill the bacteria responsible for the patient’s infection.

Maintaining Your Oral Health May Help Prevent Physical Issues

How to keep your teeth and gums healthy:

  • Brush at least twice a day using a toothpaste that contains fluoride.
  • Floss your teeth every day.
  • Remember to buy a new toothbrush every four months (or as soon as you notice the bristles have frayed).
  • Eat a healthy diet.
  • Limit sugary snacks and acidic foods.
  • Avoid using tobacco.
  • Schedule biannual cleanings and dental checkups.
  • If you notice a problem, seek dental care right away.
  • Schedule an annual Comprehensive Periodontal Evaluation (CPE) at Lamas Dental Specialists in Miami.

An Experienced, Dedicated and Caring Periodontist in Miami

Dr. William P. Lamas has ranked as a top periodontist in South Florida for two decades. He and his staff are dedicated to providing each patient with high-quality, compassionate care. Since many people feel anxious about visiting dental professionals, at Lamas Dental Specialists, we offer sedation dentistry. Using sedation dentistry, Dr. Lamas can ensure that his patients remain comfortable throughout their dental procedures.

Dr. William Lamas offers a variety of dental services at his office in Miami; therefore, whether you need your teeth cleaned, you would like to have an OralDNA® Test performed or you are interested in learning more about the restorative options available at Lamas Dental Specialists, we are here to help. Contact our office today at 305-440-4114. We are located at 2645 Southwest 37th Avenue, Suite 304 in Miami.

 

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