The most common of these are bacteria, viruses, and fungi and they
are way too small to see with your eyes.
Helping us fight disease, digest food, and keep our teeth clean.
Producing harmful byproducts like plaque and acid that can lead to
cavities or cause infections like gum disease.
We provide you the information you need on your oral health and risk for disease, then help you optimize with simple at-home treatments that get rid of the bad microbes and keep the good ones.
Bristle analyzes your oral microbiome to detect oral diseases, like cavities and gum disease, and at the earliest stages when they can be prevented or reversed.
Microbes, or microscopic organisms, are tiny living things that are found all around us and are too small to be seen by the naked eye. The most common types are bacteria, viruses and fungi, and they live in water, soil, and in the air.
A microbiome is the community of microbes living together in a
particular habitat. Scientists have measured the microbiome of plants,
animals, and even subway systems, to figure out which species of
microbe are there, what they are doing, and how they are able to
In humans, our microbiome make-up has been found to play an important role in our health. Some species are healthy, while others are potentially harmful. In a healthy body the helpful and harmful species coexist without any problems. But if there is a disturbance in that balance - from diet, antibiotic use, or other factors - the community can become unbalanced and the harmful bacteria can wreak havoc. The gut microbiome, for example, has been implicated in mental health, inflammatory bowel disease, diabetes, obesity, and more.
Similar to the gut, our mouths depend on a balanced microbiome to stay
healthy. Each of us has a unique microbiome made up of, on average,
150 bacterial species (with over 700 that have been identified!). When
balanced, our microbiome plays a number of important roles like
breaking down food, producing vitamins like vitamin B12 and K,
fighting off infection, and other benefits we are still working to
When unbalanced, the harmful bacteria begin to cause oral disease. Some of these species produce acid that erodes the enamel in our teeth and cause cavities or tooth loss. Others burrow into our gums, and cause inflammation that leads to gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis which can cause permanent bone loss and gum damage. Even worse, these bacteria are now thought to cause or worsen heart disease, diabetes, and even Alzheimer’s.
Current methods for assessing oral health rely on observational tests,
like x-rays for measuring tooth decay (cavities) and “bleeding on
probing” (that’s the actual name) to measure gum health and
inflammation. The problem with these methods is that they cannot
detect oral disease until it has already caused damage and symptoms,
which means any treatment is reactive, like fillings and root
Since our test measures the actual microbes responsible for disease, rather than the damage they have already caused, we can identify oral disease at its earliest stages when it can be prevented or reversed with hygiene and lifestyle interventions you can implement at home.
Scientists first suspected individual microbes play a role in oral disease in the early 1900s, but have lacked the technology to identify and measure the entire microbiome community. Today, thanks to recent breakthroughs in DNA analysis technology and the work of Bristle’s scientists, we are able to characterize your entire microbiome at an affordable price.
We look at your saliva and pick out the “microbes”. We identify and
quantify each species and then match them in our database to determine
if they are “good” or “bad”. We do this with a process called DNA
We then provide you a risk score for cavities and gum disease based on the amount of disease causing bacteria in your microbiome, and provide you with an oral care plan designed to work best for you. Our recommendations are backed by leading scientific and dental institutions, and are tailored to your mouth’s needs.
For too long oral care has taken a “one-size fits all” approach to
prevention, instead of tailoring treatment plans that are best suited
to each person. By understanding the make-up of your microbiome, we
can better match your mouth’s needs with recommendations and products
that will be most effective for you.
As we perform more tests, we will learn more about both healthy and harmful microbes, and will understand how to promote the healthy microbes while reducing/removing the harmful species. This will lead to better oral care products, treatments, and therapies to make oral care easier and more effective.
By taking our test, you are helping us advance scientific knowledge of the oral microbiome in exciting new ways. Each discovery helps pave the way for advances in oral health.
Your privacy is a top priority for us. Our test will pick up some of your DNA - it’s impossible to completely avoid - but we only look at the microbes from your saliva and we take steps in our workflow to throw out human data during analysis.
We are not a HIPAA covered entity but maintain a HIPAA compliant infrastructure. We will never sell your personal health or genetic data without your consent. Any analysis and discovery will be on completely de-identified data, and will go toward our goal of improving health.