DNA testing to prevent gum disease

Not your average picture of teeth.

A new study that will attempt to use DNA to detect and predict the risk of gum disease has been commissioned in the USA. The breakthrough research, to be conducted by the University of Michigan’s School of Dentistry, alongside a third-party health company, will take place over the course of one year and collect genetic information from around 4,000 people.

Should positive results arise from the test, they could prove very important for the preventative care in fighting serious oral health complications.

The issue of DNA testing has proved controversial in recent years. Tests now exist that can detect common disorders such as diabetes and heart disease, but may people fear discrimination by insurance companies. People in the USA are already protected by The Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act of 2008, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of genetic information with respect to health insurance and employment.

The results of the initial genetic test will be then combined with the two leading factors of diabetes and smoking. Researchers will also examine rates of tooth survival against what kind of dental treatment plans people have. All these results will give the researchers enough precious data in order to see how they correlate.


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