December 15, 2018
You got that DNA test for fun, to learn more about your ancestors and yourself. When you get your results back, it can be confusing. What do the health results mean? How accurate are these predictive tests for oral health?
Some of these genetic tests claim to detect a number of markers for periodontal disease and oral cancer. However, the American Dental Association (ADA) has stated that an accurate predictive test for dental cavities and periodontal disease currently does not exist. According to the ADA, no single gene to date has been identified to predict the predisposition for periodontal diseases. Rather, it is the combination of your genes with your lifestyle choices, such as smoking, that contributes to your real risk for oral diseases.
Basically, your results aren’t a crystal ball. They can provide some insight, but you can control your oral health through your oral hygiene in Boston.
Genetic Test Results
Genetic tests need to be taken with a grain of salt and skepticism. Just because you have the marker for a disease doesn’t mean you’ll get it for certain. Likewise, you can still get a particular disease even if you don’t have the marker for it. For example, just because you don’t have the marker for gum disease doesn’t mean you don’t have to brush your teeth.
If you are confused about your genetic test results in terms of your oral health, feel free to bring them with you to your next dental checkup and discuss them with your dentist in Boston.
For conditions like gum disease and cavities, your lifestyle choices contribute greatly to your oral health. So what choices can you make to avoid oral diseases? Implement the following routines into your life to promote your oral health:
- Brush at least twice a day
- Floss at least once a day
- Avoid eating simple carbohydrates or sugary foods
- Use a mouthwash with fluoride
- Choose a toothpaste with fluoride
- Attend your dental checkups every six months
Your dental checkups twice a year aren’t meant just to polish your teeth. In fact, in addition to maintaining proper oral hygiene on your own, participating in two dental visits a year helps prevent future problems from developing.
Hygienists are specially trained to remove plaque and tartar, which harm your teeth. Occasionally dentists will take X-rays to detect any hidden cavities or other issues. Then the dentist will examine your teeth, gums, mouth, and jaw for any abnormalities. To date, clinical measurements are still the best way to determine your risk of gum disease, oral cancer, and other conditions.
By taking an active role in your oral health now, you can have more control over your oral health in the future, more so than by relying solely on the results of a genetic test. Start by scheduling an appointment with a qualified dentist in Boston for a checkup and to discuss your oral hygiene.
About the Author
With over 40 years of experience, Dr. Jack Share is one of the most respected dentists in the Boston area. He has also authored numerous papers in professional journals on topics like cosmetic bonding, dental nerve anatomy, and local nerve anesthesia. You can contact him by calling (617) 742-1350 or clicking here.
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