Narrator: This is Science Today. One of the most common chronic diseases is gum disease, which affects half the world population. UCLA Professor of Periodontics, Michael Newman says it’s also one of the most preventable.
Newman: Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day is good, using an approved fluoridated toothpaste is excellent..and most importantly, is to see the dentist regularly because plaque in everybody ends up hardening to form tartar and calculus and that has to be removed professionally.
Narrator: Newman helped discover a genetic marker which can determine who’s more susceptible to periodontitis, which can lead to severe disease. This is done with a finger stick test.
Newman: Up until now, dentists had no way of looking into the crystal ball to determine who was going to be severe and who wasn’t. They could sort of, but it wasn’t very accurate. Now, with this objective test, dentists and patients can immediately know whether they’re at high risk or low risk of getting disease.
Narrator: For Science Today, I’m Larissa Branin.