Patients in Maine ask, “What is BANA testing for periodontal disease?”
You want to protect your oral health and your dentist suggests BANA testing. Now, you are wondering, “What is BANA testing and why should you have it done?” Drs. Imam and Khan of Maine Center for Dental Medicine in Skowhegan, Maine put their patients’ health first. BANA testing allows the dentists to check for specific bacteria in the mouth that may cause periodontal disease.
Understanding periodontal disease
Gum disease is very common. Our mouths are full of bacteria. When food particles and bacteria come together, it forms sticky plaque. Plaque accumulation leads to gum disease. Bacteria spread into the gums and produce toxins, causing redness and swelling. This is known as gingivitis which can be reversed if caught and treated early. Untreated, gingivitis spreads to periodontitis where bacteria collects in pockets around the teeth, causing bone loss. Without proper detection and treatment, gum disease can progress into advanced periodontitis where tooth loss is a possibility.
What is BANA testing?
Now your dentist can easily assess your mouth and detect the presence of bacteria that cause gum disease. The BANA test as a simple, chairside check to assess the mouth for the presence of bacteria that cause halitosis and are implicated in periodontal disease. These three pathogenic bacteria are called Red Complex bacteria. They are Treponema denticola, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Bacteroides forsythia.
BANA testing for periodontal disease is beneficial for patients who may have or who are at risk of developing gum disease. Dhalla, et al. in 2015  conducted a study to detect BANA microorganisms. The BANA test was found to be a useful diagnostic tool in detecting enzymatic activity of the bacteria in discrete areas of the mouth. It is helpful in determining the severity of the problem.
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Benefits of BANA testing include the following:
- Accurate results
The BANA test requires the dentist to take a sample of plaque from a pocket in your mouth. The sample is smeared on a test strip. The test strip has a specific enzyme that reacts with the Red Complex bacteria. The strip is placed in an incubator for just five minutes. When the time is up, the strip is removed. If the bacteria are present, the strip changes to a blue color. The strip may come out in different shades of blue. The darker the color, the higher the concentration of the bacteria. Any blue is a positive result. No change in the color is a negative result meaning the specific bacteria are not present in the sample.
- Dhalla, N., Patil, S., Chaubey, K. K., & Narula, I. S. (2015). The detection of BANA micro-organisms in adult periodontitis before and after scaling and root planing by BANA-Enzymatic™ test kit: An in vivo study. Journal of Indian Society of Periodontology, 19(4), 401–405. doi:10.4103/0972-124X.154167