32 all out! (LOL)…
Perhaps this is the first image that pops out in our mind whenever the word “oral health” buzzes!
The picture looks so funny right? he…he….
Unfortunately, the WHO stats are’nt so funny.
As per WHO, Oral diseases are among the most
common noncommunicable diseases worldwide,
affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people.
The global burden of oral health conditions is ever growing!
Knowing these stats now, should we stop smiling?
Oh! Not at all!
Just that we need to be a little more alert and aware …..and take a more closer look at oral diseases with a wholesome approach.
What an apt definition of oral health by WHO! Check this:
“Oral health is the state of the mouth, teeth and orofacial structures that enables individuals to perform essential functions such as eating, breathing and speaking, and encompasses psychosocial dimensions such as self-confidence, well-being and the ability to socialize and work without pain, discomfort and embarrassment.”
You must be surprised to know that “oral diseases are among the most common noncommunicable diseases worldwide, affecting an estimated 3.5 billion people” (as per WHO)!
What are Oral Diseases?
Oral diseases are a range of diseases and conditions that include dental caries, periodontal (gum) disease, tooth loss, oral cancer, head and neck cancer, oro-dental trauma, genetic and birth defects and the list goes on.
What is the Key to Prevent or Cure Any Disease?
The obvious answer is early diagnosis. Isn’t it?
What is Meant by Early Diagnosis of Oral Disease?
It means detecting symptomatic patients as early as possible.
Another vital component of early diagnosis is screening and testing healthy individuals for a particular oral disease before any symptoms appear. This will help to identify those individuals at risk for that disease even when they are clinically asymptomatic.
Are There Any Diagnostic Techniques Available for Early Detection and Screening?
A Big YES is the answer to the above question.
With advancement of science and technology, today we have a powerful weapon named “Genomics” that can be used for early disease detection and diagnosis.
What is Genomics?
Genomics is the study of an individual’s genetic makeup and how it relates to their health.
It is an emerging field that is revolutionizing the way we diagnose and treat diseases, including oral diseases.
How Can Genomics Help in Early Diagnosis of Oral Diseases?
Genomics can help identify individuals who are at a higher risk of developing oral diseases due to their genetic makeup. By identifying genetic variants associated with specific oral diseases, doctors can target screening and prevention efforts to those who are most at risk.
Identifying early diagnostic markers
Genomics can also aid in early diagnosis of oral diseases by identifying genetic markers associated with the disease. This can allow for earlier intervention and treatment, potentially improving outcomes and reducing the progression of the disease.
Identification of new targets for treatment
Genomics can also aid in the identification of new targets for the treatment of oral diseases. By identifying genes and pathways involved in the disease, researchers can develop new treatments that target the specific genetic causes of the disease.
Improved understanding of the disease
Genomics can also help in understanding the underlying mechanisms of oral diseases, providing insights into the biology of the disease, which can help in the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
Identification of subtypes
Genomics can aid in the identification of subtypes of oral diseases. By identifying genetic variations associated with specific subtypes, doctors can target treatments to the specific subtype of the disease, potentially improving outcomes.
Identification of new risk factors
Genomics can also help in the identification of new risk factors for oral diseases. By identifying new genetic variations associated with the disease, researchers can develop new prevention strategies to reduce the risk of developing the disease.
Identification of new genetic interactions
Genomics can also aid in the identification of new genetic interactions that contribute to the development of oral diseases. This can provide insights into the underlying biology of the disease and help in the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.
In conclusion, genomics is an emerging field that has the potential to revolutionize the way we diagnose and treat oral diseases. By identifying genetic markers associated with specific oral diseases, genomics can aid in early diagnosis, personalized medicine, and the development of new treatments. It can also help in understanding the underlying mechanisms of oral diseases and identifying new risk factors, biomarkers, and genetic interactions.
However, it’s important to note that genomics research is ongoing and more studies are needed to fully understand the potential impact of genomics on oral health.
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