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Dr. Na Xu
Healthy Smiles Family Dental

2601 25th St., Suite 400
Salem, OR 97302

P: (503) 385-1185
F: (503) 339-1981

Epigenetics - The Future of Dental Treatment?

Posted on 4/23/2016 by Na Xu
A patients mouth suffering from gum disease.The field of dentistry is constantly evolving and getting more advanced, and those trends show no sign of stopping. Now, a group of researchers at the University of Adelaide School of Dentistry believe that within ten years, your dentist may start taking a detailed look at your genetic make-up before dental treatments are recommended.

About the Study
This study was led by Professor Toby Hughes, who believes that epigenetics has a wealth of benefits to dental disease treatment, especially when it comes to gingivitis and periodontitis. Epigenetics is the study of inherited changes in gene activity that aren't caused by changes to the DNA sequence.

Epigenetics is often used to describe studying long-term changes in the potential of cells. It is thought that epigenetic factors in the field of dentistry could facilitate systems that are affected by the local environment, so dentists could create individual oral care regimes based on specific types of oral organisms.

The research team has stated that since the Human Genome Project was completed in 2007, genetics have been increasing in importance when it comes to medical and biomedical research. Dentists could also benefit from studying this area, and it could open up numerous opportunities for the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of dental disease, especially because the genome plays a crucial role in dental development.

One of the best benefits to using epigenetics in the future could be to identify potential disease and issues long before they begin. Dentists may be able to screen for potential oral health problems beginning at an early age. This could - at minimum - help to create a plan to reduce their impact, and at best, it could help dentists and patients to prevent problems entirely.

Unfortunately, epigenetics is still a ways off from being used in the field of dentistry, so for now you'll need to continue on with your six month appointments.

Please contact us if you have any questions about epigenetics.

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