This book explains the genetic basis of a wide range of dental disorders, including dental caries, periodontitis, congenital anomalies, malocclusions, orofacial pain, dental implant failure, and cancer. Such conditions are typically multifactorial or complex, with involvement of more than one gene as well as environmental influences. A sound grasp of this framework is ever more important, given the emergence of consumer genomics, including direct-to-consumer genetic testing. Dental professionals now need to understand why one person is susceptible to a particular oral health condition while a first-degree relative either does not develop the condition or does so in a less severe form. Knowledge of how genes operate in the susceptible host is essential if patients are to be offered accurate advice about their risks. The information provided in this book will assist in the delivery of effective personalized dental care through optimization of preventive strategies. It will enable the practitioner to explain the extent to which a patient’s condition is pure “bad luck”, whether that bad luck can be changed by behavioral choices, and how many of our behaviors are influenced by genes.
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