Genetics & Dental Health

The state of our health at any time is influenced by several factors. Some aspects such as our diet and caring for our teeth, we can manage and control. Our genetics also play a role in every area of our health. While we cannot control our genes, knowing some of what is in our DNA allows us to make changes for our best possible health.
The condition of our mouth affects and reflects our overall health in many ways. Being able to speak and eat comfortably allows us to communicate well, get the best nutrition and enhances the overall quality of our life. Diseases of our mouth such as tooth decay, gum disease and oral cancer can decrease our comfort and increase our risk for other whole-body diseases. Gum disease is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, some cancers and some forms of dementia.
Genetics play a part in our experience of these conditions. We now have easy testing available to identify markers in our own DNA that can predispose us to some of these oral and general health conditions. DNA testing can also identify specific types of bacteria and viruses that live in our mouth and help dental teams plan care to reduce these risks to our health.
OralDNA testing is a simple, non-invasive saliva test done in the dental office. A sample of saliva is collected with a quick swish of a mouthrinse. The cells in the sample are analyzed and a patient-friendly report is returned that summarizes the results and risks that exist for a person. If any treatment is indicated, retesting can be done to see how effective the treatment was. People who are genetically at higher risk for diseases involving chronic inflammation can make lifestyle changes to offset the risks present in their DNA.
Interested? Give us a call today at 541-465-9821.

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