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How Genetics are Affecting Your Teeth

Posted by: Dr. Sirakian     Categories: Dentistry, Oral Health

You may have stellar brushing, flossing, and rinsing habits, but it is genetics that plays the leading role in your oral health. About 60% of the risk for tooth decay comes from genetic factors. Tooth decay is the most common chronic worldwide disease and we only have partial control over it. While you should continue to brush multiple times a day and floss daily, here is what you should know about the role that genetics plays in oral health. Scientists have found that these things that play a role in tooth decay are linked to genetics.

Sweet Preference
Mary L. Marazita, director of the Center for Craniofacial and Dental Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine found that there are gene variants that show a range of “sweet preference.” The stronger your genetic preference is for sweets, the more likely you are to develop tooth decay. So, it turns out we are not all candy-loving maniacs, but that some of us have a stronger genetic preference for it, which can affect your teeth.

Tooth Enamel
Some people simply have softer tooth enamel than others. Genes play a major role in developing the structure of enamel, so if you have weak enamel, it is due to your genes. Weakened enamel makes it easier for bacteria and acids to cause cavities and decay.

Saliva Strength
Saliva production is key to keeping your mouth healthy. Saliva washes away bacteria and food particles in your mouth that can cause decay. Genetically speaking, some of us are better at producing saliva than others. Low saliva production can lead to cavities, decay, and gum recession, so if you lack the genetic variant for high saliva production, then your mouth could suffer.

While genetics does play a factor in your oral health, the other 40% risk of tooth decay can be lowered by brushing and flossing regularly. So, even if your family has a history of soft enamel paired with a sweet tooth, continue to brush, floss, and take regular trips to the dentist.

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While most people are familiar with common issues (such as dental carries or impacted wisdom teeth), there are some issues that are far less common and less known. Anodontia Anodontia (also known as Hypodontia) is a condition where some teeth never grow in place. Depending on how many teeth are missing, dentists either treat it […]

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4 Reasons Your Gums May Be Itching

Itchy gums may sound like a strange symptom to have, but if you’ve ever experienced them, you know how annoying and uncomfortable they can be. What causes gums to itch, however, is a little less clear. We’ve rounded up the top 4 reasons you may be feeling that tingle near your teeth, and some actions […]

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Who is a Liar?

It turns out that a lot of us are liars. A recent survey found that more than a quarter of us admit to lying to our dentist about our flossing habits. We’ve all been there. We’ve all been in the chair, waiting for the doctor to come in while racking our brains, trying to determine […]

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