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Oral Health Topics

Genetics and Oral Health

Key Points

  • Many common diseases are not inherited as a single gene defect but instead result from gene-environment interactions.
  • A predictive test for dental caries or for periodontal disease does not currently exist; both of these are complex diseases with multiple gene and environmental risk factors.
  • No gene to date has been identified that has as large an impact on periodontal disease as do environmental influences, such as smoking or diabetes.
  • While genetic testing holds potential for clinical application in the future, clinical measurements remain the best approach to assessment of caries and periodontal disease at this time.
  • Basic Genetic Principles
  • Genetic Testing
  • Using Genetic Information in Clinical Decision Making in Dentistry
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Additional Resources
Prepared by:  Genetic Testing Workgroup, ADA Council on Scientific Affairs
Reviewed by:  ADA Council on Scientific Affairs
Last Updated: September 15, 2017


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