bana test

A BANA Test or benzoyl-DL-arginine-naphthylamide test is used to determine the presence of periodontal disease.

Most forms of periodontal disease are associated with the presence or overgrowth of anaerobic bacterial species that could include Treponema denticola, Porphyromonas gingivalis, and Bacteroides forsythus among others. These species are among those that cause gum inflammation which, in turn, cause the liver to create C-Reactive Protein (CRP). It has been published that CRP levels are more predictive of heart attacks than bad cholesterol. In fact over 50% of the people who have heart attacks have normal cholesterol.

The BANA Test is very simple to administer and has been shown to be as accurate as DNA testing for periodontal pathogens. A plaque sample is taken from the patient and placed on an enzyme-coated test strip. The test strip is placed in an incubator and within 5 minutes the results are known. The extent to which the test strip turns blue shows the amount of bacterial infection.

Eradication of bacterial pathogens is simpler and more cost effective today than in the past. Topical antibiotics (Arestin, Perio-Protect), laser treatments, perio-scaling and root planing, and nutitional supplements can be as effective as expensive surgical procedures. The reduction of anaerobic bacterial species has been shown to reduce CRP levels. A recent study sponsered by AETNA shows that periodontal treatment reduces overall healthcare costs.

If parents/caregivers have periodontal disease or have a genetic predisposition for periodontal disease, then the entire family should be tested. Mounting evidence suggests that periodontal disease is contagious and can be spread between family members. Periodontal disease can be asymptomatic and children can acquire the pathogens that can manifest into health problems later in life.