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A toothbrush is our tool to keep our teeth clean and our breath fresh but, did you know, they can harbor bacteria that grow and diversify over time? The main recommendation has always been to change to a new toothbrush every six months mainly because the toothbrush bristles eventually lose their ability to clean your teeth gently and effectively. New research says that your handy toothbrush may be a haven for bacteria and other microorganisms. Not only do they harbor the bacteria but they can also transfer them to your loved ones with each use.

Tips To Keep ToothBrush As Clean As Possible

-Leave Brush Out In Open – This allows your toothbrush to air dry. Bacteria generally thrive and flourish in cool, humid, and dark places. This describes most bathrooms. Studies have shown that toothbrushes kept in a humid, dark environment retained almost 50% of the Herpes Simplex Virus (type 1) for almost a week. Further studies have shown that placing a toothbrush too close to the toilet bowl can introduce new types of bacteria every time you flush. Water particles are launched up to a 6 foot radius surrounding the toilet possibly contaminating your toothbrush and other bathroom items in the process.

Helpful Tip: Do not keep toothbrushes stored away inside your dark medicine cabinet. Consider leaving your toothbrush in a place with dry, well lit area like a nightstand.

-Change Brush Earlier If Possible – Replacing your brush more frequently to ward off progressive bacteria growths. The American Dental Association now recommends changing out your toothbrush every 2-3 months. A good tip might be to buy 12 new toothbrushes at the start of the year and replace the old one at the start of every new month. This makes it easy to remember and keeps your toothbrushes from becoming biology experiments.

Helpful Tip: Select toothbrushes with translucent bristles. Research has shown that these brush heads contain 50% less bacteria than the colored ones. It might be also helpful to use an anti bacterial mouth rinse to protect your mouth and also to rinse your toothbrush in after brushing to keep the numbers of bacteria down to a minimum.

-Nuke Your ToothBrush? – Some studies have advocated microwaving your manual toothbrushes (do not try this with an electric toothbrush!). This technique may eliminate several forms of bacteria and viruses that can form on tooth brush heads. This is an out of the box tip and has not been endorsed by anyone. People have been microwaving pacifiers for years to sterilize them. Just be careful not to ruin the integrity of the toothbrush in the process.

Helpful Tip: Never microwave a toothbrush with metal parts!

-UV (Ultraviolet Light) Sanitizers- There are many highly effective sanitizers which utilize UV light to kill  up to 99 % of toothbrush germs. This is especially helpful when a family member is sick and there is a stronger need to protect from cross contamination onto other toothbrushes.

Conclusion

Toothbrush maintenance and cleanliness is an often overlooked part of our oral hygiene regimen. We must remember how much bacteria we carry in our mouths on a daily basis. We certainly do not want to introduce any new germs to the mix that might be growing on our toothbrushes. Change a few habits and add some simple steps to help you and your family stay happy and healthy for many years to come.


Periodontal diseaseis an infection of the gums, attachments and bone that surround and support the teeth. In its early stage, called gingivitis, the gums can become swollen and red, and they may bleed. In its more serious form (called periodontitis) the gums can pull away from the tooth and bone can be lost, and the teeth may loosen or even fall out. Periodontal disease is mostly seen in adults. Periodontal disease and tooth decay are the two biggest threats to dental health.

What is MyPerioPath?
What does it have to do with Periodontal Disease?

MyPerioPath is a diagnostic tool that identifies the type of bacteria and the concentration of the bacteria present in the saliva.  Dentists and researchers have long known the specific bacteria known to cause periodontal disease so this tool gives us an idea of where each patient is and how to treat them. This makes periodontal disease treatment more personalized and allows for more predictable outcomes.

Bacteria Associated with Periodontal Disease

Researchers have discovered over 350 different species of microorganisms in the typical person’s healthy mouth. Less than 5% of these microorganism species are linked to periodontal diseaseinfections. Research

MyPerioPath Marielaina Perrone DDS

MyPerioPath Kit for Periodontal Disease Treatment

has also shown that these ” bad bacteria”, can be shared with your partner. So, if you , or your partner has progressive periodontal disease, you may both need to be checked and or treated with antibiotics.

Healthy and disease causing bacteria are usually grouped into two distinct categories:

1) Gram positive aerobic bacteria. These are harmless or helpful bacteria in the mouth.

2) Gram negative anaerobic bacteria. These are bacteria related to periodontal disease. When periodontal disease develops, the bacterial balance shifts over to these types of bacteria. Inflammation and injury cannot develop without these bacteria flourishing in the mouth.

Some of the bacteria most implicated in periodontal disease and bone loss include:

-Actinobacillus actinomycetemcomitans and Porphyromonas gingivalis. These two bacteria appear to be particularly likely to cause aggressive periodontal disease. Both P. gingivalis and A. actinomycetemcomitans, along with multiple deep pockets in the gum, are associated with resistance to standard treatments for gum disease. P. gingivalis may double the risk for serious gum disease. P. gingivalis produces enzymes, such as one called arginine-specific cysteine proteinase, that may disrupt the immune system and lead to subsequent periodontal connective tissue destruction.

-Bacteroides forsythus is also strongly linked to periodontal disease.

Other bacteria associated with periodontal disease are Treponema denticola, T. socranskii, and P. intermedia. These bacteria, together with P. gingivalis, are frequently present at the same sites, and are associated with deep periodontal pockets.

Some bacteria are related to gingivitis, but not plaque development. They include various streptococcal species.

How does MyPerioPath help personalize Periodontal Disease Treatment?

By knowing the exact bacteria and concentrations of each we are able to set up a treatment plan aimed at those specific bacteria. This can include the following treatment:

MyPerioPath Marielaina Perrone DDS

MyPerioPath Sample Results

-Oral hygiene Instruction. Any dental treatment is doomed to fail without oral hygiene maintenance at home. Periodontal disease is progressive and will get worse without proper treatment and maintenance.

-Scaling and Root Planing. This treatment is also referred to as a deep cleaning. The goal of initial periodontal disease treatment is to remove the plaque and tartar buildup as well as to disinfect the mouth to lower the progress of periodontal disease. The removal of deep plaque and tartar, and smoothing of the root surface allows for healing and reattachment. This leads to healing and hopefully, reduced pocket depth.

-Periogen. Oral rinse for dissolving tartar buildup between professional cleanings. This oral rinse can lower the inflammatory process by removing some of the tartar and bacterial buildup in the mouth.

- Antibiotics. The test really shines in allowing the dentist to tailor a specific antibiotic regimen for each patient. The antibiotic used may be different for each patient depending on their bacteria types and levels. The antibiotic treatment will allow the bacteria levels to decrease dramatically thus halting the progress of the periodontal disease.

Other Tests Available for Periodontal Disease

There is another test available for testing periodontal disease called MyPerioID PST. Salivary DNA test that determines increased risk for severe periodontal infections. The MyPerioID PST test identifies individual genetic susceptibility to periodontal disease and allows the dentist to establish which patients are at increased risk for more severe periodontal infections due to an exaggerated immune response.

MyPerioPath Conclusion

Is this periodontal disease test necessary for everyone? Probably not. It does come at a cost so it should only be utilized where necessary. For some patients, normal periodontal disease treatment is not enough and this test could help stave off periodontal disease progression and aide in more successful healing. Keeping regular dental visits as well as regular professional cleanings coupled with a good oral hygiene regimen at home is the perfect recipe for staving off periodontal disease.