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Bone loss, grafting and saliva testing



Well-known member
Apr 27, 2021
So, I just saw a periodontist as recommended by my hygienist. She said I have some bone loss around two teeth (#3 and #30) and she wants to do bone grafts. Other than the fact that I can't afford this $3,000 procedure, I'm freaking out. Going back to the dentist after five years was a major step for me. I pushed through and even got two root canals. I'm now scheduled for cleanings every three months. That's a big deal for me. But a bone graft? I can't do it. My anxiety is through the roof and I just want to cry. I'm amazed that they are pushing this procedure after one deep cleaning and a three month follow-up. Hardly seems like enough time to improve my dental health from where it was after five years of no care. Am I okay to wait awhile and think about this?

I also got the results of saliva testing which shows some high risk pathogens present and a high risk factor (genotype G/G) for periodontal disease. How accurate is saliva testing?

Thanks for any input, as always.



Staff member
Verified dentist
Oct 25, 2005
You're definitely OK to wait for a bit. Periodontal disease is usually pretty slow and can take years before it gets really serious. Don't let it get you down, keep working hard on the home care and that will hopefully keep things stable for you.

As for the test, from the ADA website:
  • As of June 2021, there are no FDA-approved salivary diagnostic tests for evaluating risk of periodontal disease or dental caries, or head and neck cancer.
Back to me again. They are a promising area for further research but at the moment there is no great evidence that they are reliable.