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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.
  • 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.
  • A predictive test for dental caries or for periodontal disease does not currently exist; both of these are complex diseases with multiple genetic and environmental risk factors.
  • While genetic testing holds potential for clinical application in the future, clinical measurements remain the best approach for assessment of caries and periodontal disease at this time.
  • Basic Genetic Principles
  • Genetic Control of Susceptibility to Dental Caries and Erosion
  • Genetic Control of Periodontal Disease
  • Genetic Testing
  • Undiagnosed Genetic Diseases
  • Using Genetic Information in Clinical Decision Making in Dentistry
  • ADA Policy on Genetic Testing
  • References
  • ADA Resources
  • Additional Resources
Last Updated: July 13, 2021

Prepared by:

Department of Scientific Information, Evidence Synthesis & Translation Research, ADA Science & Research Institute, LLC.


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