My hygienist said there is a level of bacteria which is safe. When they’re over the limit, it’s bad. So how do I get tested?


There are hundreds of factors in determining whether one unique person (or tooth… or site of a tooth) is sufficiently sensitive to that particular bacteria trigger at that particular time.

Therefore we know whether the condition is active (and destructive) or not.

To add a complication, those factors are constantly changing. Literally 24/7!

There are tests available but the fact is that plaque bacteria “biofilm” is the trigger. It is a mini ecosystem of its own. When your mouth is perfectly clean, the biofilm ‘pioneers’ take time to arrive. They are relatively harmless. Then successors become part of the network (but can only establish themselves because of the pioneers)… and so on and so on.

So there are some specific bacteria which seem to trigger periodontal disease in most people. But simply putting them in your mouth wouldn’t mean you get periodontal disease!

Gum disease is not a true ‘infection’ in that sense, so counting them isn’t very useful. It also does not change the treatment you need, so in our opinion it is wasted time and money.

Still not sure?

Ask another question.