American Dental Association Provides Clinical Resource on Genetics and Oral Health

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The American Dental Association (ADA) offers insights into the role that genetics plays in oral health with the release of “Genetics and Oral Health” (ada.org/geneticsandoralhealth). This evidence-based summary is intended to serve as a clinical resource for practitioners when answering patients’ questions about genetics and oral health.

“Most chronic diseases appear to be a result of multiple genes interacting with the environment,” notes Steven Offenbacher, PhD, DDS, a member of the ADA Council on Scientific Affairs Genetic Testing Workgroup and coauthor of the topical page. “Information about a single gene test likely has limited inference potential.” The summary points out that a predictive test for caries or periodontal disease does not currently exist — despite reports that genetic testing can determine whether a patient is at risk for periodontitis. While acknowledging that genetic testing holds promise for future assessment and diagnostic applications, at present, the ADA asserts that clinical measurements are the best means of assessing caries and periodontal disease.

From Decisions in Dentistry. June 2017;3(6):10.

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