The degradation and loss of bone in the jaw sounds like a condition so severe it could never occur without the sufferer noticing. Actually, the process may occur so gradually that even someone with significant bone loss may never realize any issues are present. Then, one day, the teeth become loose and the problem is obvious. Regardless of whether or not someone knows what is occurring or why the condition is happening, he or she may fearfully confront the potential that teeth must be extracted. Or do they?  Some good news has emerged on the dental research horizon: new ways of discovering why bone degeneration takes place could assist in boosting preventive care.

The Discovery of Genetic Factors

No matter how well a person may care for his or her teeth and gums, genetic factors may contribute to bone loss. Those whose parents suffered from tooth loss may feel they are at greater risk for tooth decay and periodontal disease. So they become more consistent with caring for their teeth. Unfortunately, certain people may be carrying latent gene factors that contribute to dental disease. All is not lost for such patients. Columbia University recently published a study revealing it may soon be possible to accurately determine the genetic factors that cause periodontal disease.

Taking Action After a Genetic Test

Any red flags discovered through genetic testing sure will lead a patient to take better care of his/her teeth. The patient may even do something he/she would never have done without reviewing the genetic tests. For example, the patient may request the dentist provide a prescription antibiotic mouthwash to keep germs and bacteria in check. Usually, such mouthwash is not prescribed until the person already suffers from gum disease. The genetic testing could possibly lead to using the prescription mouthwash as a preventive measure if the dentist agrees this is a good idea.

Awaiting on Genetic Testing

Unfortunately, routine genetic testing to determine future dental problems is many years away. Patients must rely on traditional X-ray results to determine any current bone loss. Patients worried about genetic factors should do everything they can right now to address any potential external factors that might cause bone loss. Engaging in better dental care by investing in more expensive at-home cleaning products definitely would help. Seeing the dentist more frequently for an inexpensive routine checkup absolutely is advised. This way, the bone, gums, and teeth can be kept in the best condition possible until more accurate genetic testing work can be done.

For more information, talk to a professional like Treasured Smiles Dentistry.