Genetics and Orthodontics: The Future

Recently Dr. Cantor spent some time in Colorado attending the College of the Diplomates of the American Board of Orthodontics Annual Meeting. As a Board Certified Orthodontist, Dr. Cantor had the privilege of hearing from other Board Certified Orthodontists lecturers with BCOs and PHDs in Genetics from major universities. Much of the information is very cutting edge, pre-published studies that the attendees got to hear before anyone else.

The focus this year was on the correlation between orthodontic problems and genetic problems. The interesting part is that some malocclusions (bad bites) may be genetically related to major catastrophic illnesses.   In the future, your orthodontist may notice problems in the upper or lower teeth and suggest you get tested for other certain genetic issues.

This is all very new and not quite the norm yet, but in 15 years, you may go for a dental check-up, get a swab of your cheek and a saliva sample and your orthodontist could potentially tell what diseases you may develop after age 6. The benefit to this kind of knowledge is that showing signs early, before the disease ever presents itself, allows you to be routinely tested for these illnesses.

The information discussed during these genetic connections seminars was very exciting to Dr. Cantor and he’s happy to discuss it all in further depth; just ask him about it when you see him! And if you’re interested in learning more personally, some major universities are willing to genetically test patients while they complete more studies on this information. They often look for people with missing teeth, teeth that won’t erupt, TMJ problems and more. You can check with Universities in your area to see if they are conducting any studies at this time.

Dr. Cantor took in the sites in the area while he was at the conference too! He got an education on Dinosaur Molars at Dinosaur Ridge and got to do some downhill mountain biking – with only 1 wipeout!

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